Severe weather 101 – lightning and lightning safety thorntonweather.com t gas terengganu

The odds of an individual being a lightning casualty (injured) in a year in the U.S. is about 280,000-to-1. If you’re an average person, in an average location, with average outside activities, and average lightning safety behavior. That’s about 3,000-to-one over your lifetime, with about 300-to-one odds of being seriously affected by a family member or friend being a lightning survivor.

The odds of an individual being killed by lightning each year in the U.S. is about 3 million-to-1, if you’re an average person, in an average location, with average outside activities, and average lightning safety behavior. That’s about 35,000-to-one over a life time, and about 3,000-to-one of being seriously affected by a family member or friend being killed by lightning.

Think about that. Three thousand to one odds that you yourself will be injured by lightning over your lifetime. That’s not very good odds at all. The next time you are outside and you see the telltale flash or hear the rumble, keep this in mind and please take appropriate precautions – the odds are against you if you don’t!

In addition to producing human casualties…lightning also ignites most forest and rangeland fires in the Centennial State. Many of these wildfires occur when lightning is generated from thunderstorms which produce little or no rainfall. This type of lightning is commonly referred to as dry lightning.

The safest thing for you to do if you are outside and lightning or thunder begins to occur is to immediately get inside a substantial building…such as a house…a store or a church. A hard topped vehicle such as a car or truck also offer excellent protection from lightning. Once inside a substantial building or hard topped vehicle…keep all windows and doors closed and do not touch any metal inside the vehicle. It is then recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes from the last rumble of thunder before returning outside.

A recent lightning safety study has shown that 95 percent of the people who were struck by lightning while outdoors had a nearby substantial building or vehicle nearby. Remember…there is no safe place outdoors when lightning is occurring. Do not seek shelter under picnic shelters…dugouts…porches…trees…carports or tents. These types of structures are not safe when lightning is occurring.

Once inside a substantial building…stay off corded telephones and away from electrical appliances since the electrical discharge can travel along the telephone lines and electrical wires to produce fatal results. Stay away from water…such as showers…tubs and sinks. Even indoor swimming pools are not safe when lightning is occurring. It is also recommended that you unplug sensitive electronics such as computers when lightning is expected to occur nearby.

The best defense to protect yourself against a lightning strike is to plan ahead and avoid being caught where you might be vulnerable. Check the weather forecasts prior to venturing out, especially if you are heading into the mountains. Plan your outdoor activities for early in the day before thunderstorms typically develop. Stay tuned to NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and check the National Weather Service forecasts at www.weather.gov.

It is very important that all sports leagues and other outdoor groups have a lightning response plan that is understood and consistently applied for the safety of the participants. Part of the plan would include a designated weather watcher at each outdoor event with the authority to postpone or cancel the event due to the threat of lightning.