9 ways to stay safe during a lightning storm in Boca Raton

What should you do if you start seeing lightning nearby? Pullover in a safe place, turn off your radio and lights, stop texting, stay away from windows, and don’t touch anything metallic. While it may sound counterintuitive, experts agree that it’s best not to get out of your car during a lightning storm. Instead, wait inside until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder (count up to 30 slowly). “It takes time for electricity to dissipate,” said Randy Cerveny, professor and associate dean of research at the University of Arizona’s School of Atmospheric and Space Sciences. “Even if you’re not touching a metal object, you can still get struck by lightning.”

Here are more expert tips for staying safe during a lightning storm in Boca Raton:

1. If possible, pull off the road in a large parking lot or an area with tall buildings around. Stay away from smaller structures like sheds or bleachers, which attract lightning. Move as far away from things that conduct electricity into something that doesn’t such as a closed vehicle with no doors or windows open. 

2. In your car, pull over right away if you start seeing lightning nearby and stop texting (it can be distracting). Turn off your radio, keep the windows up, and avoid contact with any metallic parts of the vehicle that could conduct electricity.

3. Don’t wait for a storm to approach–if you see lightning far away, you need to find shelter as soon as possible. “If there are storms in the distance…the threat is not immediate,” said Steve Ruppel, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions.

4. If it’s too late and you’re already stuck in your car during lightning strike danger time–30 minutes after the last thunder clap–stay as low to ground level as possible and put on shoes or boots (this will help protect against shocks from earthing through your feet) if you haven’t already. Don’t seek shelter under a tree-they are high up and can attract lightning. Keep your feet off the dashboard; if you’re stuck in gridlocked traffic with an open window, keep your feet on the floor or on an empty seat. Avoid touching any objects that could conduct electricity including cellphones, GPS, or MP3 players.

5. If you’re outside during a thunderstorm, take shelter inside a building or car right away (or keep walking toward one). “If you can see a storm coming in…it is time to quickly get indoors,” said Ruppel. “More people are injured by lightning each year than tornadoes.”

6. If you find yourself stranded in the woods during a thunderstorm, move away from the tallest object.

Well, Then What to do at Home. Let’s See –

1. Be aware of your surroundings

2. Avoid tall or isolated trees, open fields, and bodies of water (Boca Raton is surrounded by thousands of acres of open space)

3. If you are in a building, make sure the area around you is clear for at least 20 feet/6 meters

4. Stay away from doors and windows

5. Remain inside a sturdy shelter until 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder [the best place to be during lightning is underground

6 . Seek shelter in a car only if it’s fully enclosed and not convertible; avoid contact with metal surfaces (you could act as a conductor). Do not touch any high-voltage wires such as fences because they may carry electricity from the ground through the air.

7 . If you find yourself outside in a thunderstorm, avoid water (stick to sand). Remember that lightning often strikes up to 10 miles/16 kilometers away from its rain, so don’t take chances.

8 . Minimize your time on telephones and computer terminals until you know there is no longer any danger of lightning.

9 . Check local weather reports before heading outdoors; if thunderstorms are forecasted, be sure they have passed before resuming activities.

10. Make sure to call a Boca Raton Electrician after the storm

The best way to avoid injury or death from lightning is through awareness. If you or a loved one are not feeling well, please see your family physician and get diagnosed by them. I should also mention that the rate of strokes in South Florida increases during storms due to blood clots forming in the legs from not moving. Be active and calm yourself when outdoors in an area subject to thunderstorms; being too excited makes for poor blood flow circulation. If you are under stress, please take time out to relax. As an extra precaution, have a home line of defense with Vitacost vitamin C powder (which is very inexpensive) as it provides your body with nutrients needed for strong blood circulation. If you get too much sun from being outdoors in the summer months without sunscreen use zinc oxide on your entire body (especially the face). The last thing I want to mention is that this post is geared toward Boca Raton residents because of its location at the tip of Florida’s peninsula and how prone it is to lightning strikes during a hurricane season or storm activities; Boca Raton has been hit by multiple storms in recent years.