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

Local News

Don’t get caught unprepared in a summer storm

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.

Special to The Enterprise

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