Summer Lightning Season is Approaching - Know How to Stay Safe
Last updated 4/19/2023 at 1:53pm
Florida has long been known as the lightning capital of the United States. In 2022, Polk County led the way in central Florida with 285 lightning strikes per square mile.
Lightning is a leading cause of storm-related injury and death. Lightning strikes can result in cardiac arrest. Only about 10% of people struck by lightning are killed but the remaining 90% are left with varying disabilities. In addition to lightning and thunder, thunderstorms can feature winds over 50 mph, hail, flash flooding and tornadoes.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for thunderstorms and lightning:
• Know your risk and sign up for Polk County warnings by visiting http://www.alertpolk.com.
• Consider buying surge protectors to protect your appliances and electronic devices.
• Create an emergency plan that includes identifying sturdy buildings near where you live, work, study or play.
During a thunderstorm you can stay safe by:
• Going indoors – into a building or a car with a roof – when you hear thunder.
• Avoiding using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.
• Avoiding running water, including showers.
• Avoiding driving on flooded roadways.
Finally, once the storm passes, make sure it's safe before going outside. Watch for flash flooding. Also, watch for downed power lines and trees. Report them immediately.