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When thunder roars, go indoors

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Posted: Jun 26, 2014 9:38 AM by Meteorologist Josh Eachus
Updated: Jun 26, 2014 9:38 AM
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Topics: lightning, thunder, safety, storms, weather

Understanding the overall behavior of lightning, types of strikes and the history of people being struck provides guidelines as to what should and should not be done in a thunderstorm.

No place outdoors is safe during a thunderstorm. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you so move to a sturdy, enclosed shelter or a car with a metal roof. Once indoors, stay off of corded appliances that put you into direct contact with electricity. Avoid plumbing, doors, windows and concrete floors.

Remember to bring in your pets during thunderstorms, they are just as vulnerable as people.

In a worst case scenario, IF you are caught outside with no shelter within reach, immediately get off of elevated surfaces. Do not lie flat on the ground or sit beneath an isolated tree. Stay away from bodies of water and objects that conduct electricity. Don't use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter. Slightly safer options include sitting in a valley, ravine or low area. Caves can provide some safety only if you travel deep into them and avoid touching both the floor and ceiling at the same time. If on the water, only large boats with cabins and lightning protection systems are considered safe.

The significant lightning threat extends 6-10 miles out from beneath a storm. Therefore, normal activities should not resume until 30 minutes after the storm has passed.

For an expansion of the safety procedures noted above, visit the National Weather Service lightning safety page.

June 22-28 is lightning safety awareness week. The WBRZ Weather Team will have much more about lightning and safety on-air, on social media and right here on wbrz.com through the week.

You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Josh Eachus weekdays on 2une-In from 5-7am and News 2 at Noon from 12-1pm. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Josh on Facebook and following him on Twitter.

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