Summer begins today - a time for backyard barbeques, trips to the beach and lots of outdoor fun, but it’s also a time when dangerous thunderstorms become more frequent. As a series of thunderstorms move across the U.S. this week (and since it’s also Lightning Safety Awareness Week), we wanted to share a few tips on how to stay safe if a thunderstorm rolls into your area.
According to the National Weather Service, hundreds of people are struck by lightning each year, causing countless debilitating injuries and 55 deaths on average. If you hear thunder - even a distant rumble or a crackling aloft - you are already in danger of lightning striking in your area. To avoid being struck by lightning, the National Weather Service recommends:
- Get into a fully enclosed building or hardtop vehicle at the first rumble of thunder;
- Stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last thunder clap;
- Monitor the weather forecast when you’re planning to be outdoors;
- Have a plan for getting to safety in case a thunderstorm moves in;
- Do not use a corded phone during a thunderstorm unless it’s an emergency; unplugged cell phones are safe to use indoors;
- Keep away from plumbing, electrical equipment and wiring during a thunderstorm.
Visit Ready.gov for more tips on getting prepared for thunderstorms and lightning, and share the tips above with your family and friends. And be sure to bookmark www.weather.gov on your computer (or http://mobile.weather.gov on your phone) to stay up to date with your local weather forecast all summer long.
Emergency managers, business continuity experts or human resource professionals can view a toolkit on lightning safety from the National Weather Service.