The summer months are prime time for outdoor activities. However, the summer months in Florida also pose a hazard for unexpected rain and thunderstorms that can cause lightning strikes. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, dozens of deaths are reported every year due to lightning strikes. Lightening season ranges from April to November and the most common time for a potential lightning strike injury is between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m.
The National Weather Service offers tips on how to stay safe while enjoying many of summers outdoor activities during the thunderstorm season.
- Preparation is key – check to see if thunderstorms are predicted and prepare accordingly
- Postpone or cancel outdoor activities if there is a thunderstorm or lightning strikes nearby
- If caught in a thunderstorm, safe shelters include cars with hard tops and buildings with plumbing
- If lightning strikes nearby, stay in a safe shelter 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder
- Avoid being in the open during a lightning storm – stay clear of dugouts or bus stops and tall trees
- Do not stand near any tall objects during a lightning storm and avoid being near bodies of water like lakes or ponds
- If you feel your hair standing on end, crouch on the balls of your feet and make yourself the smallest target possible
- If lightning does strike someone, the first concern is cardiac arrest – know CPR in case of emergencies
Do not let afternoon thunderstorms and lightning strikes ruin the summer months. Keep these safety tips in mind to keep safe during unexpected thunderstorms this summer.