Lightning Safety Precautions During a Thunderstorm
Lightning is a common meteorological hazard in Canada. According to the Environment and Climate Change Canada, lightning strikes kill up to 10 people, seriously injure up to 164 people, and ignite about 4,000 forest fires each year in Canada. So when a thunderstorm occurs, it’s important to find shelter immediately and exercise caution. Here the tips to stay safe from lightning indoors and outdoors:
Lightning Safety Indoors
Those who are outdoors should immediately move to a safe shelter. When indoors, it’s imperative to stay away from windows, doors, and porches.
Electric devices, such as TVs, computers, and cords, must not be touched during the thunderstorm. Corded phones should also be avoided – mobile or cordless phones can be used instead.
Electrical equipment should not be unplugged during a thunderstorm to avoid the risk of being struck by lightning.
The plumbing in a home, such as the sink in the bathroom and kitchen, as well as the shower should not be used, either.
Lightning can travel through metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Thus, leaning on concrete walls and lying on concrete floors must be avoided.
Dogs should be taken inside during thunderstorms. Those that are chained to trees are vulnerable to lightning strikes and other dangers. Here are more pet emergency preparedness tips.
Lightning Safety Outdoors – those who get caught outside and can’t find an enclosed shelter should:
NOT stay in open fields and DO get off elevated areas like mountain ridges or hills. Also, cliffs and rocky overhangs must not be used as shelter.
NOT stay near things that can conduct electricity, such as power lines, wire fences, metal pipes, rails, and other metallic paths.
DO get off and away from motorcycles, scooters, golf carts, and bicycles.
DO stay away from water and wet items as water is also an electricity conductor.
DO get out of bodies of water like ponds and lakes.
Those who are in a forest must go in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
In open areas, the safest areas to go to are low places such as ravines or valleys. However, it’s important to be alert for flash floods.
Sheltering under an isolated tree must be avoided as they act as natural lightning rods.
Of course, lightning is not the only danger to be aware of during thunderstorms. When a storm occurs, homes and properties are under risk of flooding, especially in early spring. Here are tips to protect homes from spring thaw flooding. Children may get frightened by the sound of thunder, so here are tips to calm children during thunderstorms.
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