They say that lightning never strikes twice.
Well, they’re wrong. And even if they were right, one strike is enough!
Every year, lightning causes injury and even death—and August is the month with the third highest incidence of lightning fatality, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (June comes in at number 2, and July is the month with the highest number of lightning-related fatality.)
While most lightning fatalities occur when the victims were involved in leisure activities (and, logically, more lightning-related fatalities occur on Saturday and Sunday than on any weekday), lightning is a big issue for US businesses, too. In fact, more than 33 percent of all US businesses are affected by lightning, according to a Carnegie-Mellon study. More businesses are affected by lightning than are affected by hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire, explosion, and workplace violence.
Though there are some areas of the country that seem more prone to lightning storms, there have been lightning-caused fatalities in virtually every state. How can you help those around you (not to mention yourself!) stay safe in a thunderstorm? Here are the top tips from the NOAA:
- Remember that if you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
- If you do hear thunder, move to a safe shelter immediately. An ideal shelter is a substantial building that has electricity or plumbing, or is a metal-topped vehicle (keep the windows rolled up all the way!).
- Remain in the shelter for at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder.
- Do not use electrical equipment that puts you in direct contact with electricity.
- Do not use corded telephones.
- Stay away from all plumbing, windows, doors, and porches.
- Do not lean against concrete walls or lie on concrete floors.
If you cannot get to a safe shelter, these tips can help you stay safe outdoors:
- Do not lie flat on the ground.
- Do not shelter under an isolated tree, a cliff, or a rocky overhang.
- Stay clear of bodies of water and other objects that conduct electricity (metal fences, power lines, etc).
- Try to get down from elevated areas.
Beall Financial and Insurance Services has been working with business-owners for more than 25 years to help them protect their most important assets, and their companies’ future. If you have questions about insurance coverage for your business, contact us.