Severe Weather - Lightning Safety

According to the National Weather Service, Lightning has killed and injured more people in Colorado than any other thunderstorm hazard.  A threat not only to people, lightning strikes are a common cause of wildfires and grassfires, mostly from storms where there is little rainfall but a high number of lightning strikes.

Lightning Safety Tips
  • The SAFEST thing you can do?  Stay indoors and away from windows during a storm.
  • If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the ground in a crouched position, hands on knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
  • Avoid being the highest object in any area.
  • Avoid hilltops, trees or telephone poles. In a forest, move under a growth of small trees.
  • Stay away from water during a thunderstorm. Water conducts electricity.
  • Get off or away from open water and metal equipment (golf cars, tractors, bicycles). Drop golf clubs and remove golf shoes. Keep several yards away from other people. In open areas, go to a low place like a ravine or valley.
  • Inside a home, avoid using the phone and unplug unnecessary appliances.
  • Watch for flash flooding.
  • Many people apparently "killed" by lightning can be revived if quick action is taken.
  • Learn mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR. First aid given should be given to those not breathing within a few minutes.
  • If you're affected by a lightning strike, see a physician immediately.

Most important, just be aware before you head out as to what the weather conditions are going to be in your area.  A day where there is a 90% chance of severe thunderstorms is not the day you should challenge your first Fourteener.  To keep up with weather conditions, be sure to check the NWS Colorado Weather Alerts Page, the Colorado Lightning Resource Center, and the National Lightning Safety Institute.