Cover Story - When Lightning Strikes

Recently we've seen it only takes a second for people to be seriously hurt by a lighting strike!

Within the past month, more than 10 people in our region have been struck by lightning! It’s a powerful force of nature that kills more people than tornadoes every year.

Just look at a downed tree hit by lightning and you can see the destructive force of a strike.

Officer Van Oort, one of the ten who was struck recently, has one thing in common with most lightning strike victims - he survived.

9 out of 10 victims do survive. This is what you should know if someone does get hit by lightning:

It's a myth someone struck by lightning still has an electrical charge. If heart failure occurs, it’s ok to administer first aid to jump start their heart! If you do not think they're breathing or have a pulse, start CPR imediatly and get someone to contact 911.

Safety tips if you’re outside:
Seek shelter such as a car that isn't a convertible.
Crouch low and stay away from trees.

You can be hit indoors:
Some things you need to know.

1. Stay off the phone. Phone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the U.S.

2. Stay away from windows and doors. They can provide a path for a direct strike to enter a home.

3. Stay off your porch, even if it's covered, it doesn't offer protection.

4. Avoid electrical equipment or cords; unplug them well before the storm arrives.

5. Stay away from plumbing and appliances, especially washing machines, dishwashers and some hot water heaters because they use both water and electricity.

You don't need to be in the direct line of a strike, once it hits the ground that current can travel and zap you in a flash!

WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
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