The Dangers of Sudden Summer Thunderstorms (and How to Avoid Them)

Experts estimate that an astounding 1,800 thunderstorms strike our planet every day. They occur more frequently in certain locations and in certain weather conditions. Summer heat and moisture are especially likely to bring about unexpected lighting and thunder. These storms can be deadly; while figures vary significantly from one year to the next, the United States National Weather Service reported 40 lighting fatalities in 2016.

Seek Shelter Immediately

The moment a thunderstorm becomes evident, seek shelter. If possible, head indoors or towards your vehicle. If you’re alone in an open space, don’t stand under a tall object such as a tree; continue moving until you find shelter indoors.

Stick to Wireless Devices

The dangers don’t end when you get inside. Don’t be lulled by a false sense of security. Electrical charges may surge through any device that’s plugged in. Swap your landline phone for your cell and opt for a battery-powered radio or a fully-charged tablet over your desktop computer.

Don’t Use the Tap

Keep bottled water on hand for these types of situations. This is not the time to wash the dishes or take a shower.

Stay Inside Longer Than Feels Necessary

Don’t venture outdoors the moment a storm appears to let up. Lightning can strike several miles from the storm’s center, so give it plenty of time to move on. At minimum, wait twenty minutes from the storm’s apparent departure before you head outside.

Common sense can save lives during thunderstorms. There is no such thing as too much caution when unexpected storms strike.