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Michigan State Police Warn “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors”

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To promote lightning safety awareness week, the Michigan State Police is reminding residents that “when thunder roars, go indoors.” The MSP’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division says summer is the peak season for lightning strikes and that on average 53 people are killed and hundreds are severely injured each year. So far in 2014 seven people have died.

Captain Chris Kelenske, Deputy State Director of the Emergency Management Homeland Security Division says “no place is safe outside when a thunderstorm occurs. People often wait too far long to get to a safe place when a storm approaches. The best way to be safe from lightning is to avoid the threat and immediately find an indoor shelter.”

To stay safe from lightning during a thunderstorm:

  • Plan evacuation and safety measures. At the first sign of lightning or thunder, activate your plan. DO NOT WAIT FOR THE RAIN. Lightning typically precedes rain so do not wait to suspend activities.
  • Find a suitable shelter immediately. The safest location during a lightning activity is a large, enclosed building. The second safest location is an enclosed etal topped vehicle, BUT NOT A CONVERTIBLE, BIKE or other topless or soft-top vehicle.
  • Protect yourself indoors by avoiding water, doors, windows and using a corded device. Lightning could strike exterior wires, potentially causing shock or injury.
  • DO NOT resume outdoor activities until 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike or thunder roar.

The MSP says injured persons DO NOT carry an electric charge and can be assisted immediately. For other information and tips about lightning safety and other emergencies, go to www.michigan.gov/beprepared.

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