Lightning tends to travel the path of least resistance and often seeks out tall or metal objects. With lightning, however, it's all relative. A 'tall' object can be an office tower, a home or a child standing n a soccer field. Be warned, lightning can and does strike just about any object in its path.
- Stand clear from windows, doors and electrical appliances.
- Unplug appliances well before a storm nears -- never during.
- Avoid contact with piping including sinks, baths and faucets.
- Do not use the telephone except for emergencies.
Look for a shelter equipped with a lightning protection system like those found at golf courses, public parks and pools.If you're caught outside and unprotected:
- Get in a hard topped car.
- Never use a tree as shelter.
- Avoid areas that are higher than the surrounding landscape.
- Keep away from metal objects including bikes, golf carts, fencing, machinery, etc.
- Avoid standing near tall objects.
- Immediately get out and away from pools, lakes and other bodies of water.
- Spread out -- don't stand in a crowd of people.
If you feel a tingling sensation or your hair stands on end, lightining may be about to strike! Immediately crouch down and cover your ears. Do not lie down or place your hands on the ground. Victims of lightning shock should be administered CPR if necessary, and seek medical attention immediately.
DID YOU KNOW...
- At any given moment, nearly 1,800 thunderstorms are in progress over the surface of the earth.
- On average, the United States gets 100,000 thunderstorms each year. Approximately 1,000 tornadoes develop from these storms.
- Large hail results in nearly $1 billion in damage to property and crops.
- The power of lightning's electrical charge and intense heat can electrocute on contact, split trees, ignite fires and cause electrical failures.
- More deaths from lightning occur on the East Coast. More forest fires are started in the West as the lightning season coincides with the dry season there.
- Approximately 10,000 forest fires are started each year by lightning.
- Approximately $100 million in annual losses result from forest and building fires caused by lightning.
- Straight- line winds exceeding $100 mph are responsible for most thunderstorm damage.