“Lightning strikes can seemingly come out of nowhere, killing or seriously injuring a person in the blink of an eye,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Brian Satula. “It’s important to watch the skies and be ready to head indoors if you hear thunder or see lightning.”
Lightning kills dozens of people across the country and injures hundreds of others each year. In Wisconsin, seven people have died since 2008 after being struck by lightning.
Health officials say if a person you are with is struck by lightning, immediately dial 911 and start performing CPR. Don’t be afraid to touch the victim – the human body does not hold an electrical charge.
If you can hear thunder or see lightning, act quickly to protect yourself. Even if the skies are clear directly overhead, a bolt of lightning can travel several miles from the center of a storm. Never seek cover under a tree or think you are safe by being low to the ground. Get out of open areas and away from bodies of water, such as lakes or rivers.
The safest place to be is inside a sturdy shelter, such as a house. Even the inside of a car with a hard top is safer than being out in the open during a thunderstorm. If you are inside a vehicle, avoid touching metal surfaces that could conduct electricity.
Before spending time outdoors, pay attention to weather forecasts and be ready to change your plans if thunderstorms are in the forecast.
For more information go to readywisconsin.wi.gov. For daily safety tips and information, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/readywisconsin) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/readywisconsin).