Lightning: The Underrated Weather Hazard
I saw this on the National Weather Service Website and thought that with the recent rain storms we have had, this was pertinent to post! Did you know that lightning is the #2 storm killer in the U.S., killing more than hurricanes or tornadoes on average. Only floods kill more. But the real story of lightning isn’t the deaths, it’s the injuries & damage it causes. While no place is 100% safe from lightning, some places are much safer than others.
WHERE TO GO DURING A LIGHTNING STORM: The safest location during a thunderstorm is inside a large enclosed structure with plumbing and electrical wiring. These include shopping centers, schools, office buildings, and private residences. If lightning strikes the building, the plumbing and wiring will conduct the electricity more efficiently than a human body. If no buildings are available, then an enclosed metal vehicle such as an automobile, van, or school bus makes a decent alternative.
WHERE NOT TO GO: Not all types of buildings or vehicles are safe during thunderstorms. Buildings which are NOT SAFE (even if they are “grounded”) have exposed openings. These include beach shacks, metal sheds, picnic shelters/pavilions, carports, and baseball dugouts. Porches are dangerous as well. Convertible vehicles offer no safety from lightning, even if the top is “up”. Other vehicles which are NOT SAFE during lightning storms are those which have open cabs, such as golf carts, tractors, and construction equipment.