Lightning Facts & Safety Tips

May 28, 2015 05:00 PM

Summer thunderstorms have been pelting NJ with heavy rain while lightning flashes dramatically light the sky. While your odds of getting struck by lightning are only 1 in 700,000, don’t take chances with the power of nature. If you can hear thunder, you can be hit by lightning. It does not need to be raining where you are. During thunderstorm season, stay alert and listen for storm watches and advisories. Here are a few tips for staying safe:


  • If you are outside when a storm approaches, head inside immediately. Get the kids out of the pool, lake, or ocean.
  • If you are caught in an open area such as a golf course, crouch low with your head tucked down. Get that golf club out of your hand and far away from you.
  • Separate from others in your group and don’t stand near tall objects such as trees or tall buildings. Open structures such as gazebos or baseball dugouts will not protect you.
  • Do not lean on concrete walls or lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through the metal rebar in the concrete.


  • Do not bathe or shower during a thunderstorm. Some lightning strike injuries occur indoors when the strike travels through a building’s plumbing.
  • Stay away from electronic equipment. Turn off your computer and do not use washers, dryers, etc. during a storm.
  • Do not use a corded phone. Cordless or cell phones are safe.
  • Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete walls and floors.

Lightning is a powerful force. Even a glancing strike should mean a trip to the Emergency Dept. since the electricity in lightning can cause interior burns and/or disruption to the electrical system of the heart.

Stay indoors until 30 minutes after the storm has passed. Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors. Take advantage of all that the season has to offer but stay safe while doing so.


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