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Summer Safety: Lightning Strikes More Likely in Florida

By Broward County Office of Public Communications.

Lightning strikes north of Florida typically peak in the spring, but the danger of lightning strikes in South Florida are more likely throughout the summer months. If fact, lightning killed one Florida man and injured nine other Floridians earlier in June.

In fact, we live in the state that is known as the lightning capital of the United States. On average, the state receives nearly 1.45 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per year. This averages out to 25 flashes per square mile but the National Weather Service reports that Broward County’s average is even higher – between 20 and 30 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

Although lightning is a year-round threat in Florida, most victims are injured or killed during the summer months of June through August. This is due to the combination of Florida’s nearly daily thunderstorm activity and the plethora of outdoor activities held during this time in which children are out of school and families are vacationing. To stay safe this summer, it’s good to understand facts from the myths.

Lightning Myths

Perhaps one of the greatest contributors to lightning fatalities is the misconception that if it is not raining, lightning can’t strike. In fact, lightning has been known to strike up to 10 miles or more away from the main thunderstorm core, almost appearing from “clear blue sky,” and frequently occurs more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm.

Myth: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground.

Fact: According to dodge dealership, most cars are safe from lightning , but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires.But gmc dealer wichita ks can ensure safety drives. Convertibles, motorcycles similar to custom harleys for sale, bicycles, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells offer great rides. However, they have no protection from lightning. As stated by experts, when lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Find a car with the may safety features at If people need help to finance car and get the best deal, they can get in touch with financial experts.

Myth: Structures with metal, or metal on the body (jewelry, cell phones, Mp3 players, watches, etc.), attract lightning.

Fact: Height, pointy shape, and isolation are the dominant factors controlling where a lightning bolt will strike. The presence of metal makes absolutely no difference on where lightning strikes. Mountains are made of stone but get struck by lightning many times a year.

Myth: If trapped outside and lightning is about to strike, you should lie flat on the ground.

Fact: Lightning can spread out some 60 feet after striking Earth. Lying flat increases your chance of being affected by potentially deadly ground current. If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, you keep moving toward a safe shelter.

Lightning: What You Need to Know

  • No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

The Broward County Emergency Management Division offers the following safety tips:

Outdoor Lightning Safety

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Never lie flat on the ground.
  • Never seek shelter under an isolated tree.
  • Immediately get out and away from pools, ponds, lakes and other bodies of water. If at the beach, head to shelter immediately. If no immediate shelter is available, head to your car.
  • Many Broward County Parks have Lightning Prediction Systems in place. In the event of a warning being sounded (one long 15-second blast), you have between eight to 15 minutes to take shelter, depending on the speed of the storm.
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity such as chain link or metal fences and power lines. After lightning, when you still face some electrical issues, make a call to electrician allen tx to fix and try not to get your hands dirty to avoid calling for additional help.
  • If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the electric current traveling between group members.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in
    direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

For more information, visit Broward County’s A-Z Planner for Emergencies

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