objects with conductive metal. You should pay attention to thunderstorm storm warning signs such as high winds, dark clouds, rain, and distant thunder.
Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared with hurricanes and winter storms. The typical storm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous. Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States about 10 percent are considered severe. Even in the dissipating stage of a thunder storm, there are risks of lightning.
Sometime hail is created, which causes more than 41 billion in damage to property and crops each year. Large stones fall at speeds faster than 100 mph. Strong rising currents of air within a storm, called updrafts, carry water droplets to a height where freezing occurs. Ice particles grow in size, becoming too heavy to be supported by the updraft, and fall to the ground.
ASSESS YOUR LIGHTNING RISK AND TAKE PRECAUTIONARY ACTION:
During thunderstorms, no place outside is safe. However, you can minimize your risk by assessing the lightning threat and taking appropriate actions. Stop what you’re doing and seek safety in a substantial building.
IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING:
- Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency medical Services (EMS) number.
- The injured person has received and electrical shock and may be burned, both where they are struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places.
- Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.
SOME BASIC LIGHTNING SAFETY RULES
Delay or postpone outdoor activities if lightning is evident in the immediate area. This is the best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation. Move to a sturdy building or vehicle. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles. Stay away from tall objects such as towers, fences, telephone poles, and power lines.
If you cannot get to an appropriate shelter or vehicle, find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding. If you are in the woods, and there are no other alternatives, take shelter under the shorter trees.