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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lightning Safety Week - June 19 - June 25, 2016


I just wanted to remind everyone to BE SAFE when it comes to lightning.  We had quite a thunderstorm last Wednesday, along with high winds.  This is an update of a post from a storm we had in 2013. . . . 

All's quiet now but two hours ago this is what it looked like from my front window....
....and from my front porch....

It turns out I should not have been out on my porch in the middle of a thunderstorm.  My cat knew better.  She was hiding behind the couch in the basement. Lightning safety is not something to be ignored.  You don't have to be outdoors to be harmed.  Did you know these precautions (from the NOAA site) should be taken:

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

And if you are caught outside 
with no safe shelter anywhere nearby you should:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

Since 1982 there have been an average of 53 deaths per year from lightning, which may not seem like very many--except if it's you.

There are other precautions, too, that should be taken to protect your house and belongings which you can find on the NOAA site.  Because we live on a 1,000-foot mountain the first owner of our house installed lightning rods.  We added a whole-house surge protector.  Be sure to check out the myths and facts link.

Lightning can be quite beautiful--if viewed from a safe distance.  You can watch a program on lightning and the effects of a strike here.

Stay safe...


  1. I didn't know there was such a week, but this surely is a time for thunderstorms in the summer. We've lost power in our area twice in the last week because of severe storms and I have heard our state is the worst for lightening deaths. This was a great post--thank you for keeping us all a bit safer!

    1. The scary part is you can be struck inside through a window! Plus you should wait 30 minutes after a storm leaves the area to go outside. Falling tree limbs in wind storms are just as dangerous. I know a family whose child was killed by a falling limb while holding his Daddy's hand as they were trying to make it to shelter when a storm suddenly came up. With all the weather forecasting available to us (I have alerts sent on my iPhone) we really should stay home, if at all possible, when severe weather is in the area.

  2. Thursday evening we had a terrific storm, Cathy. I was so worried about our grandson driving home from work in that gully washer. Thank goodness he arrived home safely. Our son, in Richmond, is still without power after that storm. My grandsons did not have the last day of school yesterday because of lack of power. Thank you for spreading this important information. ♥

    1. Martha Ellen, I'm so glad everyone is safe down your way. I'd heard you'd had far worse than we did. Being without power in summer is worse I think because it's not only harder to stay cool, but you have all your refrigerated/frozen foods to keep from spoiling. I hope they get their power back on very, very soon.

  3. Here in Florida, is the lightening capital of the WORLD! I've seen my share of lightening strikes and it isn't something to take lightly. Thank you Cathy for this informative post!

    1. Yes, Sandy, it IS. So I'm very glad you take it seriously and use precaution. xoxoxo

  4. When I was 11, one of our next-door neighbors, age 13, was struck and killed by lightning while fishing in a rowboat with his Dad and brothers on one of the Finger Lakes, here in upstate New York. It was my first experience with death, my first time going to a funeral, and it also completely put the fear of God into all of us about lightning, thunderstorms etc. Before then, my sibs & I would be so excited to see a thunderstorm approach. Like most kids I guess. Black clouds in the sky, the rumble of thunder getting closer and closer, the flash of lightning, that eerie stillness that seems to descend with not a whisper of air moving. But I'll never forget my mother's face - or the feeling we all had - when my Dad walked in the door from work that night and Mom told him about Danny. Thanks for the tips and warnings. Your own public service announcement - and well worth-repeating. You're right about Poetry knowing exactly what to do during a storm. Does Gabriel have any issues with storms? All of our dogs did. Peanut, our toy fox terrier, used to come into my room whenever there was a nighttime storm. He'd actually wake me up because he needed comforting. I know I sat on porches, both open and screened, FOR YEARS during storms, never thinking a thing about it. We all did. Been on the phone too, many times. And I never heard the warning about taking a shower until well into my 30s. A new counselor in my office mentioned it one day when she was late - she said she had to wait until the storm passed to take her shower that morning and I asked why. Boom! Never heard that one before - twas scary. One thing that I've noticed too, as I get older, is that the power seems to go out MUCH more often than before, which is probably due to some extent to our aging infrastructure. Here in our area we often lose power without a storm. I didn't know one could get a whole house surge-protector. I'm going to ask my brother about it [he works for our local utility]. About 2 months ago the GFI protection throughout my apartment complex had to be replaced because they were "toasted" during a power outage [traffic accident]. The electrician that fixed mine told me the surge protectors in every single apartment were fried too [and I thought it had just been mine]. I heard a dry "pop" in my dining room when the power went off that I'd never heard before when the power went out, but didn't discover the dead surge protector until the next day. It was late enough to just go to bed once the power stayed off.

    1. Janet, thank you for sharing your experience. It helps emphasizes the real danger that exists with lightening. I'm sorry, though, for Danny's family and all of yours, that you had the experience of knowing someone who died from lightening. We may never know, but it possibly saved other lives over the years.

  5. Thank you all those useful tips, safe safe too! Sarah x


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