Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes! Lightning occurs with ALL thunderstorms. Nationally, lightning kills an average of 93 people and injures 300 each year. Causes several hundred million dollars in damage to property and forests annually.
* Signs of a storm: Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightening. Go to safe shelter immediately. Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
* Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances; avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. (Leaving electrical lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)
* Don't take a bath or shower.
* Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor and damage the air conditioner!
* Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects being blown by the wind of a storm, then the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm, you must act immediately:
* If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
* If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter right away!
* If you can go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects. Make sure
the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
* Become a very small target! Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with
your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
* Do not lie flat on the ground - this will make you a larger target!
**Tips courtesy of FEMA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration