Lightning Safety Actions
- Avoid open high ground and large isolated trees.
- Avoid water (swimming pools, lakes and rivers), beaches and boats.
- Seek shelter inside a building or an automobile, but not a convertible or golf cart.
- Stay away from doors, windows, and metal objects such as pipes or faucets.
- Stay off corded telephones and away from electrical devices.
- Lightning heats the air up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This rapid heating of the air produces the shock wave that results in thunder.
- A ground strike can produce somewhere between 100 million to one billion volts of electricity.
- The length of an average cloud-to-ground lightning channel can range from two to ten miles.
Florida-Lightning Capital of the U.S.
- Florida's unique location, surrounded by warm water, provides the necessary ingredients for thunderstorms to form. It has earned us the title of, "Lightning Capital of the U.S." Other places in the world have even more lightning though. According to a NASA study, there are areas in the tropics of Africa, Asia, and South and Central America that have more lightning than Florida does. Rwanda, a country in Africa, is known as the, "Lightning Capital of the World." The important thing is to stay safe by going indoors if you see lightning or hear thunder.
- If you can see lightning or hear thunder, even in the distance, you are in danger. Go indoors or into a vehicle and remain there until 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard.
If Someone Is Struck By Lightning, What Should You Do?
- Call 9-1-1 immediately. With proper immediate treatment, including CPR if necessary, most victims survive a lightning strike.
- Use the '30-30 RULE' to determine the threat of lightning in your area.
- 30 Seconds:
- Count the seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder. If this time is less than 30 seconds, lightning is still a potential threat. Seek shelter immediately.
- 30 Minutes:
- After hearing the last thunder, wait 30 minutes before leaving shelter. Many lightning deaths occur after the storm passes. Stay in a safe area until you are sure the threat has passed.