Lightning Safety

Bob Olvey
February 12, 2024
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During warm months lightning can appear without warning and cause harm to an individual who doesn’t follow safety precautions.  If you hear thunder while outdoors, you should immediately seek shelter from the nearby storm. These tips can help you remain safe if you get caught in a storm.

Find the nearest indoor shelter.  You are safest from a storm while indoors.  You should remain in the shelter until you are sure the storm has passed.

If you can not find a safe location:

Keep away from tall objects. In a forest, find an area of smaller trees to crouch under, avoiding tall, lone trees.  Stay away from rocky ledges and outcrops.
Avoid open fields and high ground. Find a low, dry area (such as a ditch) to crouch in.  Minimize contact with the ground, and do not lie flat.
Keep away from water and metal objects. If you are swimming and a storm approaches, get out of the water immediately.  Do not stand near metal fences or other metal objects. Although metal and water do not attract lightning, they are both good conductors of electricity, so it is best to stay away from them during a storm.
Spread out from others. If you are in a group of people, it is best to spread out.  Create a distance of at least 20 feet between each person to avoid the electrical current from traveling between group members.
Always check the weather for the outdoor area you are visiting before leaving.  If severe weather is expected in your area, remain indoors until the weather has cleared.


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