It is important to know what to do when a lightning storm is in your area, they are incredibly dangerous, with the potential to cause serious harm to you or your family. In fact, getting struck by lightning could cause severe burns, brain damage or even cardiac arrest. That’s why it’s crucial to be prepared and respond appropriately if a storm approaches your area. Here are some steps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that you can take to protect yourself and your family when lightning strikes.
If you’re at home during a lightning storm
- Make sure all windows and doors are shut.
- Try to avoid using any plumbing features in your home (e.g., sinks or baths).
- Don’t use any electrical equipment that plugs directly into the wall (e.g., a corded phone, computer or television).
- Avoid resting on concrete floors or walls.
If you’re outside during a lightning storm
- Get as close to the ground as possible without placing your hands or knees on the ground—never lay completely flat on the ground.
- Avoid seeking shelter underneath trees.
- Stay away from elevated areas—such as hills, cliffs or mountain ridges.
- Get as far away from bodies of water or objects that could conduct electricity (e.g., wire fences or power lines) as possible.
- If you are swimming, boating or fishing, seek shelter on land immediately.
If Someone Gets Struck
If someone you know is struck by lightning, contact 911 immediately. If you have the proper medical training, administer CPR to victims who do not have a pulse and treat conscious victims for burns, fractures and other wounds while you wait for help to arrive.
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