Other Emergency Preparedness Information
A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least ¾" in diameter, winds of 59 mph or higher or tornadoes.
A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm is likely to develop. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. At this point, the danger is very serious and everyone should go to a safe place, turn on a battery-operated radio or television, and wait for further information.
Lightning is a major threat during a thunderstorm. In the United States, between 75 and 100 people are hit and killed by lightning each year.
Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice
Fact: Lightning can strike the same place twice and may strike it multiple times during the same discharge.
Myth: If it is not raining, then there is no danger from lightning.
Fact: Lightning has been detected as far as ten miles from the edge of a thunderstorm cell, and at locations with blue skies overhead
Most lightning victims can actually survive an encounter with lightning, especially with timely medical treatment. A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock other people.
If a person is struck by lightning: Call 9–1-1 to provide the location and information about the incident including the number of people injured. Look for burns where the lightning entered and exited the body.
If the strike cause the victim's heart and breathing to stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical professionals arrive and take over.
Check all around the interior and exterior to make sure that it did not start a fire If you smell or see smoke, call 9-1-1.
All appliances and electrical devices that were plugged in when the lightning struck the house should be checked for damage before being used.
Indications of possible damage include scorched outlets, scorch marks on the device, melted cords and broken light bulbs.
Remember to help neighbors who may require special assistance (infants, senior citizens, and people with disabilities).
If you are driving after a thunderstorm, be vigilant for downed branches and power lines or other debris lying in the road. Do not touch or drive over downed lines. For more information on electrical emergencies click here.