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Lightning Safety 101: Tips for Protecting You and Your Family

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist for the National Weather Service, offered this advice for staying safe when there is a threat of lightning:

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, but being outdoors when a thunderstorm is in the area puts you at risk of becoming a lightning victim. Lightning can strike 10 miles from a thunderstorm and if you hear thunder, you’re likely within striking distance of the storm. If you plan to be outdoors, here are some tips that could save your life.

Before Going Out:

  • Listen to the forecast and consider canceling or postponing activities if thunderstorms are predicted.
  • Know where you’ll go for safety in case a thunderstorm develops.

While Outside:

  • Monitor weather conditions and seek shelter at the first sign of a developing or approaching storm.
  • If you hear thunder, immediately get inside a substantial building (one with wiring and plumbing) or hard-topped metal vehicle.
  • If you can’t get inside, never shelter under a tree or other tall objects that could increase your risk of being struck.

While Inside:

  • Avoid contact with anything that is plugged into the wall, such as appliances and computers.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing, including sinks, tubs, and showers.
  • Stay off corded phones.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last thunder before returning outside.

If Someone Is Struck:

  • Victims do not carry an electrical charge and may need immediate medical help.
  • Call 911 for help.
  • Monitor the victim and begin CPR or use an AED if necessary.

Remember, there is no safe place outside when a thunderstorm is in the area.  When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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