When Lightning Strikes

When Lightning Strikes

Each year in the United States, more than four hundred people are struck by lightning. The National Weather Service estimates that 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the U.S. annually and that lightning is present in all thunderstorms. Many lightning-related tragedies can be avoided if proper precautions are taken. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service urges you to follow these important lightning safety tips...

Keep an Eye on the Sky

Pay attention to weather clues that may warn of imminent danger. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing wind which may signal an approaching storm. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far as 10-miles from any rainfall. Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of storms because people wait too long to seek shelter or return outside to soon after storms.

If You Hear Thunder, You're in Danger

If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Find a safe shelter immediately in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.

When a Storm Approaches

Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

If Someone is Struck By Lightning

People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge, are safe to handle and need immediate medical attention. Caridac arrest is typically the cause of death in lightning fatalities. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should administer CPR. Call for help. Have someone call 9-1-1.

If Caught Outside

Avoid open areas. Stay away from trees, towers and utility poles. Lightning tends to strike taller objects. Stay away from metal bleachers, backstops and fences. Lightning can travel long distances through metal. If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately. Do not lie flat on the ground, this will make you a larger target.