The good news is that you can survive severe storms or even a tornado. Being prepared is critical. By following these simple guidelines, you can protect yourself and your family from nature’s violent storms. The most important things to remember are:
GET IN – If you are outside, get inside. If you’re already inside, get as far into the middle of the building as possible.
GET DOWN – Get underground if possible. If you cannot, go to the lowest floor possible.
COVER UP – Flying and falling debris are a storm’s number one killer. Use pillows, blankets, coats, helmets, etc. to cover up and protect your head and body from flying debris.
Always know the location of your severe weather shelter. How are you alerted of inclement weather when at home? Weather radios are a good idea, and apps can keep you out of harm’s way, Weather Bug and MyRadar will send alerts to a phone or computer for inclement weather such as lightning strikes, wind, and rain.
- Lightning is a serious hazard both on and off the job. There is an average of 25 million lightning strikes that occur in the United States each year alone. Have a plan of when you will cease work and where you will go if lightning occurs during that day. The best practice to avoid getting struck by lightning is to take shelter indoors before a storm is in your immediate area. Know the lightning policy of your worksite, a good rule to follow is the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
If you feel a tingling sensation or your hair stands on end, lightning may be about to strike. Crouch down and cover your ears.
Lightning Fatality Statistics
- From 2006 to 2019, there were 418 people struck and killed by lightning in the United States. (weather.gov)
- Males accounted for 79% of these fatalities.
- Most deaths occurred in the months of June, July, and August
- Many victims were headed to safety at the time of the fatal strike.
- If there are no clouds or rain there will not be lightning. TRUTH: Lightning can strike 3 miles from the actual storm center. There are some bolts that have struck 10 miles or more from the storm.
- If you are in a house, you are 100% safe from lightning. TRUTH: A house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you avoid anything that conducts electricity. This means staying off corded phones, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers, plumbing, metal doors and windows.
It is important to not be complacent when it comes to severe weather and lightning. Take shelter before the storm is directly on you, at work or at home.