Summer Safety, Come Rain or Shine

4) If you must be outdoors on a day when rain is expected, plan your evacuation and safety measures in advance. This way, when you first see lightning or hear thunder, you can activate your emergency plan and seek shelter quickly. At the first clap of thunder, you should head to a large building or fully enclosed vehicle and wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before you to go back outside.

5) Once there is a hint of a thunderstorm, avoid water, high ground and open spaces. Stay away from all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors and power tools.

Tips to Stay Safe From Lightning Strikes

6) If you find that you are outside and far away from shelter when a lightning strike occurs, crouch down and get as close to the ground as possible. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize possible hearing damage from thunder. Try to stay at least 15 feet away from other people.

7) Even if you are indoors, it does not mean you are completely safe during an electrical storm. Avoid contact with water, and stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone, and do not use headsets to listen to music until the storm passes. To protect electrical equipment inside your home, turn them off and unplug them.

8) Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, are safe to touch and need urgent medical attention. Some deaths can be prevented if the victim receives the proper first aid immediately. Call 9-1-1 immediately and perform CPR if the person is unresponsive or not breathing. Use an Automatic External Defibrillator if one is available.

9) If you drive into a thunderstorm, slow down and use extra caution. If possible, pull off the road into a safe area, and do not leave your vehicle during a thunderstorm.

10) Boats, particularly those with no cabin, are dangerous places to be during an electrical storm. It is crucial to listen to the weather when you are boating; if thunderstorms are forecast, don't go out. If you are out on the water and skies are threatening, get back to land immediately and find a safe place to wait out the threat.

Sources: National Lightning Safety Institute (http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_pls/lst.html); National Weather Service: Lightning Safety (http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/overview.htm); National Weather Service: Lightning Risk Reduction Outdoors (http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm)

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