Pay heed to summer storms

Pay heed to summer storms

Oh, the joys of summer.

Campfires and s’mores, carefree days outdoors, trips to the beach and … lightning.

Thunderstorms are more frequent in summer, making them the party pooper that can end all these fun summer activities by sending everyone inside.

As much of a drag as that may be, paying heed to lightning and its precursor, thunder, is key to making sure your summer merriment doesn’t end for good.

Everyone knows lightning is dangerous, but do you know what it does to the body? The enormous jolt of electricity has serious negative effects on the heart and the nervous system. Both depend on electrical signals in the body to function.

A lightning strike disrupts the normal electrical signals that keep your heart beating and your nerves and brain working normally.

In the past five years, about 20 people were killed each year by lightning in the United States, and roughly 30 per year the five years before that, according to the National Weather Service.

Amazingly, some people do survive lightning strikes, but they often suffer long-term damage. Personality changes, memory problems and chronic pain are among the hardships a lightning strike can cause.

To avoid being struck, abide by this simple rule from the National Weather Service: When thunder roars, go indoors. Thunder is caused by lightning and the way the electricity interacts with the air. However, sometimes you may hear thunder but not be in a position to see the lightning. And there’s no telling where lightning will strike next. Experts say if you hear thunder while outside, you are close enough to be hit by the next lightning bolt.

No use trying to find a safe spot outdoors. Just get inside as fast as possible.


Related Episodes