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Summer Lightning

Did you know the highest number of people being struck by lightning occurs in the summer? A lightning strike has the temperature of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is hotter than the surface of the Sun, but fortunately most people who are hit by lightning survive. Less than 10% die each year from a lightning strike, still approximately 58 people do. Even though most don’t die when struck by lightning, they do deal with severe and long term effects.

Lightning can travel up to 10 miles from a storm. If you can hear thunder you are in an area where you can be hit by lightning. If you feel your hair beginning to stand, this is a bad sign. Seek shelter immediately, but stay away from trees and metal objects such as a shed. Get low and stay low, do not become the highest surface around.

The best shelter is in a house. Realize you can still be in harms way. Lightning can travel through windows, doors and wires. So stay away from the windows or doors and do not use the telephone. Most lightning injuries inside a home come from people talking on the phone where the lightning travels through the wires of the phone.

Best place in your home is the basement or a closet. Bathrooms have a lot of metal piping which the electricity can travel. Lightning doesn’t just come from thunderstorms. Volcanic eruptions, forest fires, hurricanes and nuclear detonations can all produce lightning.

If someone is hit by lightning, realize they are not full of electricity. You can touch them without getting harmed. Check to make sure they are still breathing. If not breathing, moving or coughing, begin CPR.

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