Lightning safety reminders - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Lightning safety reminders

Lightning safety reminders
By: Wes Wallace

Last week, a Colorado teenager jammed to some music on his iPod while mowing his yard.  Suddenly, a bolt of lightning came flashing from the sky and struck the teen, injuring him.  Some recent medical reports show items like MP3 players and cell phones attract lightning.  However, weather experts disagree.

According to the National Weather Service, people get struck by lightning because they're in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Not because of cell phones, iPods, jewelry, or other small metal items.

Lightning expert John Jensenius with the NWS explains, "Lightning tends to strike taller objects, nothing attracts lightning, although metal is an excellent conductor of electricity."

So if you get hit, you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. Meaning the wrong place is anywhere outside, the wrong time is anytime a thunderstorm is nearby.

If you hear thunder or the sky looks threatening, you're in danger of getting struck.  Try to remember this weather safety saying "when thunder roars, go indoors." Experts advise you to get inside a sturdy building or hard topped metal vehicle, and stay away from tall isolated objects, including trees.

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