CENTRAL ILLINOIS- According to the National Weather Service, in Lincoln, lightning is the most frequent and important weather threat to personal safety during thunderstorm season. Always plan ahead and avoid deadly lightning situations. Monitor the weather forecast before going outside for extended periods of time. Watch for storms and seek shelter indoors when thunderstorms approach. If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm, do NOT seek refuge under a tree. Get to the nearest indoor shelter with surrounding walls and closed doors and windows. An open building, such as a picnic shelter, shed, or garage will keep you dry but will NOT protect you from lightning. A closed, hard-top metal vehicle is a safe place to be; although, vehicles can be struck by lightning. As long as the vehicle is not touching any metal and the windows are closed, you will be protected. If you are boating, swimming, or taking part in any other outdoor water activity, get out of the water when storms are approaching and seek shelter indoors or in a hard-top vehicle with closed windows. While inside, avoid using electrical appliances, corded telephones, and anything that is connected to metal pipes during a thunderstorm. Cordless phones and cell phones are safe to use indoors during a thunderstorm, as long as they are not in a charger or plugged into an outlet.
The safest places to be during a thunderstorm are inside a secure building with closed windows and doors and a hard-top vehicle with closed windows and doors.
Unsafe locations during a thunderstorm include anywhere outdoors--especially near trees or water, inside a building with large open doors and no walls, and in a vehicle with open windows.
Officials simply put it like this: If you see lightning strike or hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. It is recommended to stay indoors until thirty minutes after the last rumble of thunder is heard before you can safely venture outdoors.
National Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 22nd through June 28th. WAND's Weather Team will have more lightning safety coverage during that week.
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