thunderstorm in Texas

5 Lightning Safety Tips

Every year, at least 50 Americans needlessly die from cardiopulmonary arrest or burn complications from lightning strikes. And while only 10% of lightning strike victims die, many survivors live with devastating burns or injuries that permanently decrease their quality of life.The chance of being struck by lightning outdoors is about one in 700,000. But this number can be deceiving. Hosting an outdoor event with a lot of people only makes the likelihood of someone being struck by lightning more probable.

To help keep your staff, visitors, and customers out of harm's way, follow these important lightning safety tips.

1. Consider Every Thunderstorm a Threat

Whenever you hear thunder, lightning is near enough to pose a threat. It can strike within 25 miles of the parent thunderstorm. When you see a storm moving in on the weather radar, plan to stay indoors.

Make sure everyone knows to go indoors whenever they hear thunder. If you are stuck in a vehicle, roll up the windows, unplug any electronic devices, and avoid touching any metal parts that connect to the outside. Do this whether you are driving or parked.

2. Avoid Touching Electrical Devices

Appliances, lamps, and any other electronics that are plugged into an electric socket may be susceptible to power surges with a lightning strike, and touching them can be dangerous. If you can see that a bad storm is coming, it would be wise to unplug some appliances or electronic devices before it arrives to reduce damage risks. The same idea applies to corded phones. If your business uses a landline, there is a chance that its cables may carry an electric current with a lightning strike.

3. Get Lightning Alerts With a Lightning Detection App

One of the easiest ways to stay ahead of lightning dangers when planning outdoor events is to stay informed about lightning alerts in the area. The Perry Weather lightning warning system keeps you informed about developing and current lightning dangers. With this lightning warning app, you have information that comes from the world's most reliable lightning detection network. The app uses real-time data to keep you continually updated. By following these lightning safety tips and using the lightning warning app, you can help ensure your visitors and staff stay safe!

4. Stay Away From Windows and Doors

Although it may be tempting to open a door or window to enjoy the smell of fresh rain, the risk of a lightning strike still exists. Lightning that strikes through an open door or window can damage anything that is plugged into an electrical socket; it can also injure anyone nearby.

5. Be Aware of Dangerous Myths

Another important way to stay safer is to know what information is false. There are several myths, such as the one that says lightning cannot strike the same place twice. Also, there is a myth that says people wearing rubber shoes will not be harmed by lightning.

Here are some important truths to know that dispel these common myths:

• Lightning can strike the same place twice, and it often strikes trees or tall structures repeatedly.

• "Heat lightning" is still considered dangerous.

• Rubber shoes do not protect you from lightning strikes.

• Never seek shelter under a tree if you are stuck outside during a storm.

If your group or event is stuck outside when a thunderstorm hits, keep moving toward the direction of an enclosed shelter. And if you see someone who has been struck by lightning, call 911 immediately.