Severe Weather Safety & Awareness

2018 Severe Weather

Joplin Globe - Enjoy Magazine

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Sunday, March 11, 2018 6 SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS Myth: If you're caught outside during a thunderstorm, you should crouch down to reduce your risk of being struck. Fact: Crouching doesn't make you any safer outdoors. Run to a substantial building or hard topped vehicle. If you are too far to run to one of these options, you have no good alternative. You are NOT safe anywhere outdoors. Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice. Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it's a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit an average of 23 times a year Myth: If it's not raining or there aren't clouds overhead, you're safe from lightning. Fact: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. "Bolts from the blue" can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm. Myth: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground. Fact: Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires. Remember, convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells offer no protection from lightning. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don't lean on doors during a thunderstorm. Myth: A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them, you'll be electrocuted. Fact: The human body does not store electricity. It is perfectly safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid. This is the most chilling of lightning Myths. Imagine if someone died because people were afraid to give CPR! Myth: If outside in a thunderstorm, you should seek shelter under a tree to stay dry. Fact: Being underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties. Better to get wet than fried! Myth: If you are in a house, you are 100% safe from lightning. Fact: A house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you avoid anything that conducts electricity. This means staying off corded phones, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers, plumbing, metal doors and windows. Windows are hazardous for two reasons: wind generated during a thunderstorm can blow objects into the window, breaking it and causing glass to shatter and second, in older homes, in rare instances, lightning can come in cracks in LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS AND RESOURCES Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year. Lightning kills an average of 47 people in the United States each year, and hundreds more are severely injured. This website will teach you how to stay safe and offer insight into the science of lightning. You'll find animated books about lightning, safety tips for all kinds of situations, games for kids and resources for teachers. You'll learn about lightning victims and survivors. Explore our site, and come and visit often! www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov LIGHTNING MYTHS AND FACTS

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