Lightening is one of the top three storm related killers in the United States.
Most of the injuries and deaths that have been caused by lightning are due to individuals being misinformed about proper safety precautions in the event of a thunderstorm.
Lightning can produce 30,000 amps of charge and 50,000-degree Fahrenheit temperatures which can cause severe electrical burns or injuries to the nervous system if someone is hit.
Lightening does not always have to strike an individual directly to cause an injury; contact injuries are also often common. For example, lightening can strike a metal object that a person is touching and in return injure the individual. Lighting can also bounce off an object and hit someone who is nearby. If lightning strikes the ground, it can cause a ground current which then strikes anyone who is standing on it.
Lightning Safety Tips:
- Nowhere outside is safe during a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder or see lightening it is close enough to strike you. You should immediately seek shelter if you are outdoors when a storm begins.
- Once inside, stay far away from any plumbing and electrical equipment, such as corded phones and computers. Stay clear from all windows and doors as well.
- If you become stuck outside when a thunderstorm begins, avoid trees, bodies of water and high elevations such as hills.
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If you or someone you know gets struck by lightning, seek medical attention immediately. Victims who were struck by lightning can suffer disabling conditions. This may include slow reaction time, personality change, persistent headaches, chronic pain, nerve injuries and problems retaining and coding new information.
Do not take thunderstorms lightly this summer. Follow proper safety precautions and stay indoors until the storm has completely passed.
National Weather Service: Lightening Safety