Florida has many claims to fame…some better than others. Popularly known as the “lightening capital” of the United Sates, Florida experiences more lightning-related deaths than all other weather hazards combined. So what’s an outdoor lover to do?
During a lightning storm, remember:
* If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
* Quickly move inside a home, building or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you’re safer inside a vehicle than outside, especially if you can avoid touching metal.
* Stay away from equipment that puts you in direct contact with electricity (corded phones, computers, power lines, etc.). In fact, it’s best to unplug equipment before the storm hits.
* Don’t sit on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. Moisture absorbed by concrete can be a good conductor for electrical energy or lightning currents.
* When caught without shelter, avoid elevated areas, never lie flat on the ground, stay away from isolated trees and don’t go near bodies of water.
Lightning strike victims don’t carry an electrical charge, so there’s no need to fear providing immediate medical assistance. Call 911, and then:
1. If breathing has stopped, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
2. If the heart has stopped, administer CPR.
3. If the person has a pulse and no breathing difficulties, look for other possible injuries such as burns, broken bones, loss of hearing and loss of eyesight.