It's August, and over the past several weeks there have been a number of building fires that have been started by lightning....not atypical for summertime in Montgomery County. Here are some tips, developed by FEMA and provided by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services, for keeping lightning-safe:
- If you can hear thunder you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. Find shelter in a building or car. Keep the car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
- Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity, so....
- Unplug appliances.
- Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.
- Don't take a bath or a shower.
- Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor.
- In a severe storm draw the blinds and shades over windows. If a window breaks the shades can prevent glass from shattering into your home.
- If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm...
- If you're in the woods, take shelter under shorter trees.
- If you're boating or swimming, get to land right away and find shelter.
- If you can, go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick isn't likely to flood.
- Become a very small target! Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
- Do not lie flat on the ground - this will make you a larger target!