BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) –. Lightning strikes are very common occurrence this time of year. It is important to be alert and prepared for any type of severe weather. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you can protect yourself and your family by taking precautions immediately.
The best defense is to be aware. Know the weather forecast, especially if you are planning an outdoor event. If thunderstorms are predicted postpone the activity, or make sure you have a place to go inside, should a storm begin to develop.
Go indoors. If you’re out, get in. Look for an enclosed shelter, or a car with a hard-top. And don’t leave the windows down. If you are out in the open and have no place to go to, crouch close to the ground in a ball like position and minimize your contact with the ground.
Do not lie down. Lightning can cause electric currents in the ground that can be deadly more than 100 feet away.
If you are in group, part way. This will reduce the number of injuries should lightning strike the ground.
Keep away from open vehicles and shelters, like gazebos and baseball dugouts. Also tall structures such as trees and metal poles can be lightning rods. Be cautious of where you are standing.
Precautions that will help make your summer a safer one.
Lightning is to blame for about 33 deaths in the United States every year. It causes ten times as many injuries. Many of those victims of lightning strikes are athletes.
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