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Do you know if you live in a lightning-prone area? Check the incidence of thunderstorms in your area by contacting an expert source. Check the business listing of your white pages.
For current conditions, watch The Weather Channel. Or check the severe weather alerts or the thunderstorm forecast map.
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Lightning always accompanies thunderstorms, so your first line of defense is to keep an eye and ear to the sky.
Stu Ostro, a Senior Weather Specialist at The Weather Channel and Weather Ready's expert resource for meteorological science, urges an awareness of the swiftness with which thunderstorms can develop, and of lightning's capricious nature.
You can do a rough calculation this way:
For example, if you count nine seconds between the flash and the thunder, the lightning struck just under two miles away.
There are no watches or warnings issued for lightning per se.
Rocky Lopes, Disaster Services representative for the American Red Cross, offers the following advice. "It's important for people to realize that they and only they must be responsible for preparing for a thunderstorm."
Make certain that everything you need is in one specific, easy-to-access location. It must be readily available for you to simply grab when needed.
Check the incidence of lightning in your area by contacting an expert source like your local American Red Cross chapter or check the business listing of your white pages.
Determine your severe weather insurance eligibility now.
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Learn how to help in an emergency. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for training in administering First Aid and CPR, and how to treat lightning shock.
Check your local weather forecast or tune into The Weather Channel before planning any boat trips, water-based, or outdoor events.
Develop a Family Preparedness Plan that includes the following:
If you plan to spend the day outdoors, look for a place to take shelter if weather turns bad.
If a thunderstorm threatens your area, you can monitor its progress by turning on The Weather Channel or tuning into your local weather forecast.
You observe and/or hear lightning and thunder, or thunderstorms are in the forecast.
A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect what should you do?
If you are at home, protect yourself and your family by following the safety tips below:
There are times when storms come up suddenly.
If you are away from home, protect yourself and your family by taking cover in the best shelter you can find.
After lightning has struck, there is nothing more important than seeing to the safety and needs of your loved ones. But sometimes people are afraid to touch a lightning victim.
Once lightning has struck a person or even an object, however, the person or object does not carry a charge and cannot harm you. Although lightning is electrical, it is not like a house current.
Lightning kills or injures hundreds of people every year, mainly because the victims are not aware of the danger they face.
Myths and misperceptions about lightning can add to the confusion.
It's important for people to know how frequently thunderstorms occur in their own areas because no state is exempt from this danger. Floridians, for example, should be aware their state has the highest incidence of lightning in the country.
See just how enlightened you are!
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