JOLIET – This is Lightning Safety Awareness Week, and it comes at a time when Will County has been seeing waves of thunderstorms in recent days.
More than 70 percent of fatal lightning strikes occur during June, July and August, Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken said Monday in a news release announcing Lightning Safety Awareness Week.
“Don’t take a chance with lightning. If you hear thunder that’s your cue to take shelter immediately. When thunder roars, go indoors,” Monken said in the statement.
A house in Shorewood was struck by lightning during Wednesday night’s storm. The strike set insulation smoldering and fried the wireless Internet box of the house on Woodbrook Court, but no one was injured.
The National Weather Service reports about 50 people are killed and 1,000 are injured by lightning in the United States every year. A majority of victims were either in an open area or on or in a body of water.
Monken said taking shelter only if you can’t count to 30 between the lightning and thunder is an outdated safety rule.
If you do see someone struck by lightning, CPR should be administered immediately. Victims do not carry an electrical charge, but the surge of electricity causes cardiac arrest in most fatalities, according to the IEMA.
Outdoor 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 a safe shelter
• Stay in the safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder
If There Is No Safe Shelter Anywhere Nearby:
• Seek lower elevation areas
• Never use a tree for shelter
• Immediately get out and away from pools, lakes, and other bodies of water
• Stay away from all metallic objects (fences, power lines, poles, etc.)
• Do not raise umbrellas or golf clubs above you