Flash! Boom! Another lightning bolt, following by the rolling clap of thunder, streaks through the air as a thunderstorm fast approaches. Common throughout spring and summer, thunderstorms should send everyone scurrying for cover.
On average, several dozen people are killed each year by lightning in the U.S. The following tips will help you stay safe before, during and after a thunderstorm.
Before the Storm
It is important to know how to recognize when you are at risk for a lightning storm. Knowing that a storm is coming will allow you to make plans to be indoors before the storm strikes.
Outside in the Storm
You should never be outside during a thunderstorm. If you are outside when a storm strikes find shelter as soon as possible.
Inside During a Storm
Indoors is the safest place during a storm. There are still hazards to watch out for.
Struck by a Storm
If you see someone get struck by lightning it is important that you help them as soon as possible.
It is important to help victims as soon as possible because left untreated, people struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and an inability to sit for long periods of time.
Make sure that you download the WeatherBug app on your smart phone before you head out on any outdoor activities. The mobile app now includes Spark Lightning Alerts, a GPS-based lightning detection feature providing you the location of the closest lightning strike, so you can Know Before the storm hits.
Source: National Weather Service
Story image: WeatherBug user Glenn Holland of Southlake, Texas, took this picture of a dangerous lightning storm.