CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 4th of July weekend is fast approaching, and there is a chance that we could see some thunderstorms over the weekend.
Dozens of people die each from being struck by lightning so it’s important to know what to do when a thunderstorm approaches your location. Always remember when thunder roars, stay indoors.
If You Are Outside
- Go indoors immediately. If you cannot get inside, take shelter in a vehicle.
- If you are in an open area, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley and watch out for flash flooding.
- If you are in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a growth of small trees.
- If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.
If You Are in a Car
- Stay in your car if you are on the road. If driving conditions worsen, find a safe place to pull over and park.
- Avoid touching metal or other surfaces in and on your vehicle.
If You Are Inside a Building
- Stay away from windows and doors. Strong thunderstorms can cause flying debris that could do significant damage.
- Avoid using a corded telephone, except for emergencies. Cordless or cellular telephones are safe to use. Unplug appliances, air conditioners, and other electrical items like computers to avoid damage from a power surge.
- Avoid showering, bathing, washing dishes, or doing laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Avoid contact with metal objects (yard equipment, motorcycles, bicycles, etc.).
- Stay inside until at least 30 minutes after you last hear thunder or see lightning.
If You Are in a Boat
- Preferably stay off and definitely get off, the water whenever weather conditions are threatening.
- Have an adequate lightning protection system installed and have it inspected regularly.
- Never go boating without knowing the forecast.
- Stay in the center of the cabin if the boat is so designed. If no enclosure (cabin) is available, stay low in the boat. Don’t be a “stand-up human” lightning mast!
- Keep arms and legs in the boat. Do not dangle them in the water.
- Discontinue fishing, water skiing, tubing, swimming or other water activities when there is lightning or even when weather conditions look threatening. The first lightning strike can be a mile or more in front of an approaching thunderstorm cloud.
- Disconnect and do not use or touch the major electronic equipment, including the radio, throughout the duration of the storm.
- Lower, remove or tie down the radio antenna and other protruding devices if they are not part of a lightning protection system.
Download the 22News Storm Team weather app to receive live notifications sent to your phone when lightning is detected in your location.