|By Career Staff J McCully|
|July 21, 2020|
Last night a quick yet powerful storm rolled through the area, bringing some amazing lightning with it. EMT J. McCully captured a few pictures from the front ambulance apron of the Elverson station.
We at EHBEMS would like to remind everyone how dangerous and destructive storms can be. Remember that thunderstorms can include dangerous lightning, powerful winds over 50mph, flash flooding, create hail and tornados. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. There are nearly 1,800 thunderstorms occurring at any moment around the world, which is 16 million per year!
If you can hear thunder, lightning is occurring. On average lightning kills 93 people a year and injures 300 more, along with causing several hundred million dollars in damage to property and forests annually. Most lightning deaths and injuries happen when people are caught outdoors, with the most casualties happening in the summer months during the afternoon or early evening. The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the surface of the sun!
There are a few things to keep in mind during a weather event.
1. ‘’When thunder roars, go indoors!’’ A sturdy building is the SAFEST place to be during a storm.
2. Pay attention to weather reports and warnings. Be ready to change plans to be near shelter if necessary.
3. If indoors, avoid running water or landline telephones, electricity can travel through plumbing and phone lines.
4. If boating or swimming, get to land, sturdy shelter or a vehicle IMMEDIATELY! Remember if you take shelter in a vehicle, do not touch anything metal.
5. ‘’Turn Around, Don’t Drown’’ avoid flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast moving water can knock you down, and one foot can sweep your vehicle away.
If you’re caught outdoors and no shelter is nearby you should immediately take the following actions.
Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Make sure you try to choose a spot that isn’t subject to flooding. If you’re in the woods, take shelter under shorter trees.
If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground.