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Thunderstorms and Lightning:
Safety Tips for Summer Storms

•Postpone outdoor activities if a thunderstorm is imminent- if you can hear it you are in danger!

•Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.

•Crouch close to the ground.  If you are caught in an open area, crouch down in a ball-like position (feet and knees together) with your head tucked and hands over your ears so that you are down low with minimal contact with the ground. Do NOT lie down. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away. Crouching down is the best combination of being low and touching the ground as little as possible.

•Separate- if you are in a group during a thunderstorm, separate from each other, this reduces the number of injuries if lightning strikes.

•Don't stay in open vehicles, structures, or spaces.  During a thunderstorm, avoid open vehicles such as convertibles, motorcycles, and golf carts. Be sure to avoid open structures such as porches, gazebos, baseball dugouts, and sports arenas. And stay away from open spaces such as golf courses, parks, playgrounds, ponds, lakes, swimming pools, and open water.

•Don't stay near tall structures.  Do NOT lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm. Also, avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

•Avoid electronic equipment.  Do NOT use your computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio and television reception systems. Equip homes with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.

•Avoid contact with corded phones and devices including those plugged into electric for recharging. Cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets are OK to use.

•Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

•Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

•If your ability to drive safely is hampered by a storm, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers so you are more visible to other drivers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

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