What do you think of when I say the word “summer?” Did you say “lightening?” Probably not. But with summer’s heat and humidity comes the potential for dangerous lightening storms. So here’s how to prepare yourself if lightening strikes. Courtesy of Woman’s World Magazine.
- Follow the rule of sound. Thunder gives the first warning that lightning’s on its way. So if you hear thunder, it’s a sign you’re within range of a lightning strike.
- Start counting. You really can tell how close lightning is by counting the seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder. Here’s how it works: For every five seconds you count, figure the lightning is one mile away. So if you count 10 seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, that means the lightning is about two miles away. As the time decreases, the lightning is getting closer.
- Take shelter. “When thunder roars, go indoors.” So says Michael Utley, founder of ‘struckbylightning.org.” What if you’re caught outside? Look for the nearest enclosure. Be sure not to touch anything metal while you wait out the storm. Stay away from windows, too. If there’s no enclosure nearby, do the “lightning crouch:” With your feet together, squat down and tuck your head in.
- Stay low. The higher you are – the greater the risk. Why? Because lightning seeks the fastest way down to the ground. So get off that hilltop! But don’t worry if you’re in a skyscraper. Architects design them to withstand the lightning that hits them and transfer it safely to the ground.
- Don’t take a shower or use water. Water conducts electricity from the lightning and can travel along plumbing lines. Also, stay away from phones, computers, and other plug-in gadgets because lightning’s current can move through these devices into your house! Also, turn off your cell phone.