SEATTLE — A wild thunderstorm jump started fall 2019 and another one could be in Seattle’s horizon again Monday afternoon and into the work week.
Getting struck by lightning is often a result of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but there are precautions you can take to stay safe.
5 Tips to Survive a Thunderstorm
1. Stay indoors
- Being inside a building is the safest option.
- If a lightning strikes a building, it will follow the available paths to the ground. The building and its occupants remain unaffected.
- Don’t use any wired appliance or device and stay away from water pipes and faucets.
2. Know the 30/30 rule
- When you see a lightning flash, start counting. If you don’t make it to 30 before hearing the thunder, head indoors.
- Wait 30 minutes after a storm to resume activities to be sure the threat has passed.
3. Head for the car
- Hard-topped automobiles are the next best bet if you’re outdoors and can’t find a building for shelter.
- Make sure windows are shut and don't touch any part of the metal frame or the steering wheel.
- If your vehicle is struck by lightning while on the road, stop and check the car because a strike could ignite the fuel and cause a fire or explosion.
4. Stay away from tall isolated objects like trees, flagpoles, or posts
- The most common advice during a thunderstorm is to stand clear of trees. According to Storm Highway, while this is good advice, lightning does not discriminate and can strike anywhere.
- Contrary to the myth, it doesn’t always strike the tallest or most conductive object. It can strike anywhere, but still try to stay as far from these structures as possible.
5. Make yourself a smaller target if you're outdoors
- Crouch low to the ground, but don’t touch it or lie down flat.
- Grab your ankles and tuck your head in.
Prepare for thunderstorms by keeping essentials like medications, baby food, and flashlight stocked up. Check for potential falling branches around your home and check for weather and road conditions before driving.