Don’t tempt lightning


All thunderstorms produce lightning and lightning can strike as far as ten miles away from any rainfall. If you are outdoors and see lightning, move indoors to a completely enclosed building or into a hard-topped vehicle and close the windows. Avoid being in or near high places, open fields, isolated trees, gazebos, car ports, pavilions, tents, shelters, baseball dugouts, flagpoles, light poles, metal or wood bleachers, metal fences, or water.

If you are at home when a storm is expected, unplug major or unnecessary appliances such as televisions and air conditioners, to prevent power surges from damaging appliances beyond repair. Avoid using corded phones or any electrical appliances.

Lightning can enter your home as a direct strike, through wires or pipes that extend outside your home (i.e. water, gas pipes), or through the ground. Once it makes it into your home, the current generated by the lightning strike can travel through electrical lines, plumbing, phone lines, radio or television reception systems. Flexible gas line is more susceptible to lightning damage than iron pipe. Look, listen and smell for gas leaks and any evidence of a fire. If the fire is small (smoldering) and in a remote location such as the crawl space, basement, or attic, you may not be able to see flames but you can often smell or see smoke.