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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Don’t get caught unprepared in a summer storm

A composite photo of lightning strikes seen beyond the Tower Bridge in August of 2012. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page A9 | August 23, 2013 |

Thunder and lightning storms tend to stir either excitement or dread. California’s storm season is approaching and the Davis Fire Department has provided a list of ways to stay safe.

When outdoors:

* If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Seek shelter inside a home, large building or hard-topped vehicle right away. Do not go under trees. There is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before leaving your shelter;

* Stay away from doors and windows;

* If you are in or on open water, go to land and seek shelter immediately;

* If you feel your hair stand on end, that means lightning is about to strike — squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet; place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees; make yourself the smallest target possible; and minimize your contact with the ground. Do not lie flat on the ground; and

* If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 and get medical care immediately. Victims carry no electrical charge; attend to them immediately. Check breathing, heartbeat and pulse. CPR may be needed.

When indoors:

* Unplug appliances and other electrical items, like computers, and turn off air conditioners. If you are unable to unplug items, turn them off;

* Stay off corded phones, computers and other electronic equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing; and

* Avoid washing your hands, bathing, doing laundry or washing dishes.

In addition, lighting often strikes outside of heavy rain and may happen as far as 10 miles from any rainfall.

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