Cherokee County Fire
& Emergency Services

Lightning Safety for You and Your Family

June 8, 2021

Lightning strikes in the United States about 25 million times a year.  Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year.

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services offers these tips to keep you safe during a thunderstorm.

DON’T GET CAUGHT OUTSIDE

No place outside is safe when a thunderstorm is in the area. Get inside as soon as you hear thunder. Run to a substantial building or hard-topped metal vehicle as fast as you can. If you can’t get to a safe building or vehicle:

  • Avoid open areas. Don’t be the tallest object in the area.
  • Stay away from isolated tall trees, towers or utility poles. Lightning tends to strike the taller objects in an area.
  • Stay away from metal conductors such as wires or fences. Metal does not attract lightning, but lightning can travel long distances through it.
  • If you are with a group of people, spread out. While this actually increases the chance that someone might get struck, it tends to prevent multiple casualties, and increases the chances that someone could help if a person is struck.

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK

Cardiac arrest is the immediate cause of death for those who die. Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge and may need first aid immediately.

  • Call for help. Call 9-1-1.
  • Give first aid. Begin CPR if you are trained.
  • Use an Automatic External Defibrillator if one is available. These units are lifesavers!Don’t be a victim. If possible, move the victim to a safer place.  Lightning CAN strike twice.

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Lightning does strike twice!
Lightning does strike twice! (click image for slideshow)