This time of year is unpredictable when it comes to weather in Texas. Did you know lightening kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes? Lightning can be unpredictable, so follow these steps to keep your and your family safe from the storm.
- Always know your local weather forecast. Try to stay at home until the storm has passed, or until thirty minutes after the last thunderclap. Every thunderstorm produces lightning.
- If you have to be out on the road, look for thunder, darkening skies, increasing wind and flashes of light. If a storm is approaching, safely exit the roadway park your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. Avoid pools of water or lower ground, as flooding may be an issue. Also avoid high areas, tall isolated trees and utility poles. If you can safely take shelter in a nearby building, do so. If your vehicle if your shelter, stay put! Do not get out to film the lightning, no matter how Instagram worthy.
- Close the windows. A lightning strike could jump inside if they are open.
- Fold your hands in your lap to avoid touching metal or other conductive surfaces in or outside the vehicle including radios, cell phone chargers, GPS devices, foot pedals or your steering wheel.
- If lightning does strike your vehicle, you’ll hear a boom and see a bright flash and possible sparks as well.
- It’s a myth that rubber tires protect your from lightning. It’s actually the metal that matters. If lightning strikes, it will generally flow along the vehicles metal cage and into the ground without seriously injuring you. Vehicles with non-metal roofs like convertibles or those with fiberglass shells will likely not protect you from lightning. If you drive a car like this, it’s even more important to stay off the road.
- It is technically safe to exit your vehicle after the electrical current has passed into the ground. But it’s a good idea to wait until the thunderstorm has moved on before getting out of your car. Lightning can strike twice.
- If someone in your vehicle is hit by lightning, immediately call 911. If the person struck has stopped breathing, begin administering CPR and continue until breathing resumes or professional help arrives. People struck by lightening do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
- Remember- If you are caught in a lightning storm, pull over to a safe place, turn on hazard lights, close windows and always avoid touching metal.