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Lightning safety


Lightning strikes can be deadly (courtesy: Michael Sťan)
Lightning strikes can be deadly (courtesy: Michael Sťan)

Staff writers

April 17, 2013 — Officials are warning residents to take precaution when lightning strikes.

Severe weather is ramping up in the U.S., with fierce winds and intense lightning storms roaring through Tornado Alley, and it will be a stormy end to the week for much of Ontario, with thunderstorms in the forecast.

Here are a few tips that can keep you safe from a lightning storm, courtesy of The Weather Network and the Canadian Red Cross.

INDOOR LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

  • Stay away from windows.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Do not use the telephone.
  • Avoid running tap water.

OUTDOOR LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

  • Try to reach a safe building or vehicle (Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe).
  • Avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.
  • If you are out on the water, get to land and find shelter immediately.

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

  • Call for help / dial 911.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned or have other injuries.
  • People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Give first aid. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.

Environment Canada offers a 30-30 rule as well. They say if you can count 30 seconds or less between seeing a lightning flash and hearing the thunder, take shelter and stay there until 30 minutes after you last hear thunder.

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