How to Prepare for Summer’s Severe Weather: Lightning Storms

Lightening in a cityAlthough lightning storms are not common in Victoria BC, where our showroom is located, lightning flashes occur about 2.34 million times every year in Canada! While the number of deaths incurred by lightning strikes is relatively low (approximately 10 people per year), they seriously injure 100-150 people and ignite 4,000 forest fires each year.

A bolt of lightning can deliver as much as 100 million volts of electricity and strike a target up to 16 kilometres away from the nearest storm cloud. So when you hear thunder—wherever you are—take it as a warning signal to get yourself indoors as quickly as possible.  

Below are a few further tips to help keep you safe during a lightning storm:

  1. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of the accompanying lightning. The best thing to do is take shelter. If you aren’t close to a fully enclosed building, get inside a metal-roofed vehicle and stay there for a half hour past the last thunder you hear.
  2. While inside, avoid everything that will conduct electricity. Especially electrical appliances and equipment.
  3. If you are in a car, do not park under tall objects that could fall, such as trees or power lines. Also, avoid getting out of the car if there are downed power lines nearby. While inside, fold your hands in your lap and avoid touching anything metal in your car.
  4. If you are caught outside, avoid standing near tall objects and avoid anything metal.
  5. Avoid open water. If you are caught swimming or boating, get to shore as quickly as possible.
  6. Anywhere outdoors is an UNSAFE location to be, during a lightning storm. To be as safe as possible, remain indoors until half an hour after the last thunder you hear.

Many people—and especially children—become nervous during lightning storms. Once you’re in a safe location, sometimes it’s best to try to distract yourselves with games or stories until the storm is over. If you have kids with you, it might even be the perfect time to break out a children’s comfort emergency kit.

For more information on lightning storms and other kinds of storms, read on, here.

Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io

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