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Tips for Safety in a Storm

lightning over houses• What state has earned the title "lightning capital of the United States"?

• Will wearing rubber-soled shoes really provide you protection from lightning?

• Is it true that lightning never strikes twice?

Learn more about lightning with interesting fun facts, how to stay protected, and other safety tips for keeping safe in the storm....

Thunder booms. Lightning strikes.

Quick -- stop washing the dishes! Everyone may know the basics about lightning safety... avoid open spaces especially while hiking, don't take shelter under the tallest tree, and try to stay inside, but there is much more to it...

While most of us have heard the warnings about safe camping, swimming or boating during thunderstorms, avoiding other water contact when lightning is flashing is good safety advice too. That even means staying out of the shower and tub and, yes, keeping your hands out of dishwater!

Lightning kills or injures hundreds of people each year. Keep in mind these additional tips that will protect you and your loved ones duriing a lightning storm:

Seek shelter -- Stay in enclosed buildings. Inner rooms are the safest. Avoid doors, windows and anything that conducts electricity. Stay out of picnic pavilions and rain shelters which are too open to provide any real safety. If need be, seek safety in a car and close the windows. As long as you aren't touching metal, the car's steel frame offers some protection.

Don't use electrical appliances or telephones with cords -- Lightning can follow electrical wires and phone lines into your home.

If you're caught outdoors, use the 30-30 rule -- Seek a safer location immediately if the thunder occurs 30 seconds or less after the lightning. Once the storm has passed, wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning flash before leaving shelter.

Avoid lightning targets -- Stay away from trees and any tall, isolated structures which are magnets for attracting lightning strikes. If you're caught in an open area, drop metal items such as golf clubs and tennis racquets.

More lightning safety facts

lightning strikes empire state building
Lightning never strikes twice?

• The old adage that "lightning never strikes twice" is a myth. Lightning can strike in the same place multiple times, especially at prominent landmarks or tall buildings.

• While rubber is an electrical insulator, rubber-soled shoes or rubber tires offer no protection from injury during a lightning storm.

• The state of Florida holds the title of "the lightning capital of the United States." There are twice as many lightning casualties as in any other state.

• About 71% of all people struck by lightning survive. The fatal cases are usually the result of cardiac arrest, but those that do survive may suffer from brain injuries, burns, loss of memory, chronic pain or other debilitating conditions.

• Those who are struck by lightning are no longer 'electrified" and it is safe to help them. If the victim is not breathing, administer CPR (if you're properly trained) or treat other injuries until medical help arrives.

• When lightning occurs, the sound of thunder is the result caused by rapid expansion of heated air. If you see lightning and hear thunder at the same time that means the worst part of the storm is directly overhead.

• Besides thunderstorms, lightning can also occur during snow storms and blizzards, volcanic eruptions, dust storms, forest fires and tornadoes.

also see -> Hurricane Safety Tips

More lightning & weather safety tips around the Web:

Lightning Safety Tips - National Lightning Safety Institute

Lightning safety - Wikipedia

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