Summer storms can be pretty amazing and powerful. Typically, you think of storms as being only in the winter months but, the mixture of heat and cold temperatures during the summer, couple with rainfall and you’ve got an intense thunder and lightning storm that can leave forest fires, house fires, and downed power lines in its wake. Many people don’t understand the very real dangers that a summer storm brings with it.
Here are some safety tips for you to follow the next time the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes:
While it is best to stay indoors during a thunder and lightning storm, that is not always an options. If you do find yourself outdoors during a lightning storm here are some precautions to take:
- Stay away from trees. Lightning hits the tallest available object.
- Don’t hold metal items like fishing rods, golf clubs, tent poles, or tools. Don’t climb on anything metal.
- Stay out of water like pools, puddles, lakes, and damp grass.
- Don’t stand close to other people. Spread out from each other.
Being inside of your home is probably the safest place that you can be when lightning is striking. However, that does not mean that you are exempt from injury. You still need to be safe and cautious:
- Don’t stand next to the windows or doors.
- If you know that the storm is coming, unplug electrical equipment in preparation. Once the storm has started, avoid contact with electrical items and cords.
- Avoid any contact with water including showers, baths, sinks, and faucets.
- You may use a cordless or cellular phone during a storm but, avoid using a phone with a cord.
Downed power lines are nothing to mess with. Electricity is a very dangerous thing and when a power line goes down there are standard operating procedures that the professionals must follow in order to keep themselves safe. If you come across a downed power line:
- Stay at least 10 feet away from it and anything that is touching it. Your body is an electrical conductor. Use small steps and ‘shuffle’ away from the downed line, keep your feet together and on the ground at all times.
- If you see someone who is in direct contact with a downed power line, call 911 and DO NOT touch that person. The electrical current can pass from them to you.
- DO NOT try to move a downed power line using a stick or any other non-metal object. Even if that object is only the tiniest bit wet it could conduct electricity and electrocute you.
Without electricity some very important tasks that we must get done each day would be impossible. But, just because we use it every day does not mean that we shouldn’t treat it with great respect and caution. Lightning storms can leave serious consequences in their wake and it is important to know how to handle these situations in a way that will keep you and your loved ones safe.