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Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Reminds Residents "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors"

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Christopher Harris:  (216) 443-7157 or cbharris@cuyahogacounty.us

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 22-28

CUYAHOGA COUNTY –Lightning strikes an estimated 25 million times a year in the United States, resulting in an average of 44 lightning fatalities per year. During the 2014 National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management urges everyone to learn the dangers of lightning.

There are no safe places outside when a thunderstorm is in the area. If you hear thunder, you need to get inside a safe place immediately. Remember “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!”

Listed below are a several tips for your safety when lightning threatens:

Before Lightning Strikes

  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind.
  • If you hear thunder, you’re close enough to be struck by lightning.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, television, or reliable websites for the latest weather forecasts.

When a Storm Approaches

  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
  • Stay away from metallic objects (fences, poles, pipes, etc.).
  • Unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone.
  • Avoid taking a bath, shower, or running water for any purpose.
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will help prevent glass from shattering into your home.

Protecting Yourself Outside

  • If you’re unable to find safe shelter, go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects, in an area not subject to flooding.
  • Be a very small target! Squat low to the ground, placing hands on knees and your head between them.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground. This will make you a larger target!
  • If you’re boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately

 After the Storm Passes

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio or television for information and instructions.

If Someone is Struck by Lightning

  • Call for help. Dial 9-1-1.
  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be touched.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, care for other possible injuries. Learn first aid and CPR by taking an American Red Cross first aid and CPR course.

The Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management’s mission is to protect lives, property, the environment, and the economy.  For additional information, contact us at 216-443-5700 or online at http://ja.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/emergency-management.aspx