Lightning is a dangerous killer and can happen on any day or night of the year with even the weakest thunderstorms. Most of our lightning problems occur between the months of June and September, when we see the majority of our thunderstorms coupled with people being more active outdoors. Alabama averages three lightning deaths a year, with around six more injuries. Death or injury can occur from a direct strike or indirectly. Below, you'll find some basic tips to help you and your family stay away from the dangers of lightning.
-Stay indoors, away from doors and windows. Your home is the safest place to be. Avoid using water or wired electronics such as a computer or your telephone.
-Before the storm, unplug electronics to reduce risk of damage.
-A vehicle is a great alternative shelter. Close all doors and windows and avoid touching the metal components of the car. The energy from lightning will go around the frame of the car, through the tires, and into the ground.
-If you're on a boat, in a lake, or swimming. Get out and find shelter, avoid water.
-Avoid metal objects like umbrellas or golf clubs for example.
-If caught outdoors, avoid trees and tall objects like radio towers. Crouch and get low, protect your head with your arms. If you're in a group, spread out and crouch. Try to find shelter.
These basic tips will help you and your family prepare for the threat of lightning. Remember, a thunderstorm will always contain lightning by its very definition. A frequent lightning producing storm may not be severe warned, but it can produce damaging and deadly lightning so always take cover during a thunderstorm.
We're available 24/7 online right here at wsfa.com/weather. Like our page WSFA Weather of Facebook and follow us on Twitter @wsfa12weather for the latest automated updates and discussions. Have a NOAA Weather Radio programmed with fresh batteries when severe weather is near. This is a great tool to wake your family if you are sleeping. You can also text your county name to 41212 to receive severe weather text alerts.
Click on the link on the top right labeled National Weather Service Birmingham for more information on Alabama Severe Weather Awareness.
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