How To Stay Safe During Thunderstorms
Summertime brings time spent at the community pool, backyard cookouts and vacations. It also brings afternoon thunderstorms, some of which can be very violent and even cause flash flooding. Since most gardeners are “outside people” and probably spend much of their time outdoors (usually looking down at plants), we thought providing these thunderstorm safety tips would be a good reminder on how to stay safe during a thunderstorm.
Know The Forecast
Being aware of potential storms is the first step in being safe during one. Almost every local television station offers weather forecasts and live radar on their website, and most have apps for your cell phone as well. Weather.com and Weatherbug are two great resources as well. It is also possible to subscribe to alert systems that will send an alarm to your phone to let you know there is a risk.
Even if you do not have a resource on your cell phone to alert you to impending danger, or do not have your cell phone with you when you are outdoors, look up. A change in the wind, temperature or darkening skies are all signs that a change in the weather is about to occur.
When dangerous weather is approaching, head indoors. By indoors we mean a sturdy building or a car. Avoid places such as sheds, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts and bleachers.
If no structures are available, crouch down in an open area. Do not stand under a tree. In fact, stay twice as far from a tree as it is tall.
Stay Out of Water
We’re not really sure why someone would even go in the water during a thunderstorm but wanted to make sure to include this point. Water is a great conductor of electricity so a lightning strike that is not even close to you is dangerous.
Avoid Being Near Metal Objects
Just like water, metals are goo electric conductors. Stay away from antennas, clotheslines, fences, etc.
Lastly, if someone has been struck by lightning, call 911 immediately. The injured person does not carry an electric charge so it is safe to touch them and administer aid.
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