Entries in Storms (3)


Lightning Safety 101: Tips for Protecting You and Your Family

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist for the National Weather Service, offered this advice for staying safe when there is a threat of lightning:

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, but being outdoors when a thunderstorm is in the area puts you at risk of becoming a lightning victim. Lightning can strike 10 miles from a thunderstorm and if you hear thunder, you’re likely within striking distance of the storm. If you plan to be outdoors, here are some tips that could save your life.

Before Going Out:

  • Listen to the forecast and consider canceling or postponing activities if thunderstorms are predicted.
  • Know where you’ll go for safety in case a thunderstorm develops.

While Outside:

  • Monitor weather conditions and seek shelter at the first sign of a developing or approaching storm.
  • If you hear thunder, immediately get inside a substantial building (one with wiring and plumbing) or hard-topped metal vehicle.
  • If you can’t get inside, never shelter under a tree or other tall objects that could increase your risk of being struck.

While Inside:

  • Avoid contact with anything that is plugged into the wall, such as appliances and computers.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing, including sinks, tubs, and showers.
  • Stay off corded phones.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last thunder before returning outside.

If Someone Is Struck:

  • Victims do not carry an electrical charge and may need immediate medical help.
  • Call 911 for help.
  • Monitor the victim and begin CPR or use an AED if necessary.

Remember, there is no safe place outside when a thunderstorm is in the area.  When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lightning Safety: Men Struck Many More Times Than Women

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Men, that last game of touch football is just not worth it during an approaching storm -- especially when you risk being hit by 200,000 to 300,000 volts of lightning.

Of 648 people killed by lightning in the United States from 1995 to 2008, 82 percent were male, according to This year, there have been six lightning-related deaths -- all male.

According to Popular Science magazine, recreational activities or sports are involved in almost half of all lightning-related deaths. Of this year's fatalities, one man was playing golf on a course in Shreveport, La., and another was playing baseball in an open field in Ruby, S.C.

"Men take more risks when it comes to lightning," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist of the National Weather Service, "and men tend to have more outside jobs."

Jensenius said that men being struck by lightning more than women was a behavioral issue.

"Men don't wish to be inconvenienced by a nearby thunderstorm," he said. "Lightning safety is an inconvenience but at the same time, it's one you can live with." He said the National Weather Service's Lightning Safety program works very hard to lower lightning fatalities every year. "It's all very sad," he said of the victims. "It's the same problem every year."

"It really doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, you need to be inside when there's a thunderstorm in the area."

Jensenius cautioned that July was the deadliest month in terms of lightning across the United States because of a peak in lightning activity and an increase in outdoor summertime activities.

July averages 18 lightning fatalities a year and Jensenius warned that Fourth of July weekend is traditionally one of the most deadly.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tornadoes 2011: How to Help Storm Victims

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) -- Deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms ripped through the south Wednesday, devastating dozens of cities and killing more than 200 people across five states.

The majority of the deaths have been reported in Alabama, where 200-mile-per-hour winds swept homes off their foundations in one area. President Obama declared a state of emergency for the search-and-rescue response in Alabama late Wednesday and said federal officials had their eye on the storms and would offer help as needed.

Find out below how to help and donate to the April 2011 tornado relief effort.

American Red Cross: The Red Cross is providing relief to people across the hardest-hit states, providing shelter, and relief to survivors. To make a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief, visit its online donation page. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is responding to the deadly tornado activity throughout the South, mobilizing feeding units and providing support to the victims. To donate to the Salvation Army's tornado disaster response, visit, click on their donation page and designate "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak." You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and donors can text "GIVE" to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Checks can be made out to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, Ga., 30384-0339.

Alabama - Governor's Emergency Relief Fund: The Fund, part of the Alabama Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, provides additional recovery assistance to Alabama residents who have exhausted all other coverage provided by relief organizations, government programs and insurance. To donate, visit their online donation page.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio