When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
Each year in the United States, more than 400 people are struck by lightning. On average, between 55 and 60 people are killed; hundreds of others suffer permanent neurological disabilities. Most of these tragedies can be avoided with a few simple precautions. When thunderstorms threaten, get to a safe place. Lightning safety is an inconvenience that can save your life.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects information on weather-related deaths to learn how to prevent these tragedies. Many lightning victims say they were “caught” outside in the storm and couldn’t get to a safe place. With proper planning, these tragedies could be prevented.
Other victims waited too long before seeking shelter. By heading to a safe place 5 to 10 minutes sooner, they could have avoided being struck by lightning.
Some people were struck because they went back outside too soon. Stay inside a safe building or vehicle for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last thunder clap.
Finally, some victims were struck inside homes or buildings while they were using electrical equipment or corded phones. Others were in contact with plumbing, a metal door or a window frame. Avoid contact with these electrical conductors when a thunderstorm is nearby!
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