Don’t Get Struck by Lightning This Monsoon Season

Jillian Danielson | Clouds and lightning over Lake Havasu City

Jillian Danielson | Clouds and lightning over Lake Havasu City

We’re at the height of monsoon season in Arizona, and that means lightning. Lots and lots of lightning. And while it’s possible to survive a lightning strike — Roy Sullivan, a Shenandoah National Park ranger, survived seven of them, if you can believe it — it’s far better to just avoid being struck at all. With that in mind, our friends at the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests wanted to share a few lightning-safety tips:

  • 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 the windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

But what if you’re caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby? You can reduce your risk with these last-resort measures:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas, such as hills, mountain ranges or peaks.
  • Never lie flat on the ground, never shelter under an isolated tree, and never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
  • Immediately get away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.
  • Stay away from barbed-wire fences, power lines, windmills and other objects that could conduct electricity.

Additionally, check the latest weather forecast before you head outdoors to make sure thunderstorms aren’t expected in the area. Stay safe out there, folks!

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