Lightning Safety

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Hundreds of lightning strikes could be seen in the sky Monday evening over the San Rafael desert and near Price. With the monsoon season coming up, residents should be aware of the lightning danger.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), an average of 51 people are killed each year by lightning and hundreds more are severely injured. A rule of thumb for lightning safety: “when thunder roars, go indoors!”

The NWS outlines some safety tips:

  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder

While indoors, you can still practice safety:

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches
  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

(Resource: https://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/tips.htm)

 

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