Ways to stay safe from lightning

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Division of Homeland Security (DHS) and our partners at the National Weather Service want you to know that this week, June 23-29, 2013 is Lightning Awareness Week. Throughout the week DHS will be sharing tips, facts and statistics on this deadly and destructive force of nature on the City of Indianapolis website and on Twitter and Facebook.

"We want to ensure that our public is safe if they are caught outside near a thunderstorm especially during the summer months when people enjoy outdoor activities. We want to make sure people are informed about protecting themselves and their property from lightning," said Gary Coons, Division Chief of Homeland Security.

There is no safe place outside in a thunderstorm. Our partners at the National Weather Service (NWS), the American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) make us aware of the following:

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

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.

In the event that someone is struck by lightning please be aware of the following:

Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, are safe to touch, and need urgent medical attention. Cardiac arrest is the immediate cause of death for those who die. Some deaths can be prevented if the victim receives the proper first aid immediately.

Call for help. Call 9-1-1.

Give first aid. Do not delay CPR if the person is unresponsive or not breathing. Use an Automatic External Defibrillator if one is available.

If possible, move the victim to a safer place. Lightning can strike twice. Don't become a victim.

Organized Outdoor Activities

During the summer months many people enjoy outdoor activities. It's important for the people in charge of these activities to understand the dangers of lightning, have a lightning safety plan in place, and follow the plan once thunder is heard or lightning is seen. Make sure the leaders of your outdoor activities follow a lightning safety plan.

Please see attached Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's Proclamation in observation of National Lightning Awareness Week.

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