Thursday, July 1, 2004
What Would You Do: Caught In A Storm
When it comes to wild weather, most of us think about hurricanes. But summertime in south florida can also bring its share of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Tonight, what would you do if you got caught in a storm? Here's 7's Charles Perez.
(WSVN) -- During the hot florida summer... It's almost like clockwork ... Every afternoon the thunder and lightning rolls in.
Jim Lushine, National Weather Service: "Here in Dade and Broward County three people die every year from lightening strikes and another 15 are injured."
But despite the statistics ... People don't consider these storms dangerous. Eric sommer learned the hard way.
Jim Lushine: "Right after I was like wow, that was a close one. I don't know it's just a strange feeling you're touched by God or what ever."
So what do you do if a thunderstorm is approaching?..
Well, you can begin by heading for cover... Preferably inside your house ... Then avoid touching metal faucets since they can be a pathway for lightning and unplug whatever appliances you can.
Jim Lushine: "And anything electrical is also a hazard like your coffee pot maker, your toaster oven, your microwave, your computer. Those are all inlets in which the lightning can get to you inside."
But if you are stuck outside .. use the 30/30 rule. Count one-one thousand, two one thousand from the time you see lightening untilthe time you hear the thunder.
Jim Lushine: "If you don't get to 30 from seeing the lightening before you hear the thunder .. you are within striking distance of the lightening."
Next ... Get away from any body of water.
Jim Lushine: "On the pool .. a canal .. or in the water at the beach .. those are dangerous places. As well as being in a boat."
And don't seek cover under a tree.
Jim Lushine: "The lightening often hits the tree and then flashes off to the side. So you can be just in the vicinity of the tree and still be struck by lightening ... even though it hits the tree first."
So you're outside. There is storms in the area and you feel that tingling sensation like when the hair stands up on your arms telling you a lightning strike could be coming. The best thing to do is crouch down.
But stay on the balls of your feet. You want to stay low without having a lot of contact with the ground.
If the lightening hits the ground .. it spreads out along the ground. So the less contact you have with the ground .. the better chances you have.
If However it's a water spout or a tornado, you also want to get inside.
Believe it or not, there are actually more tornadoes per square mile in Florida than any other state in the United states.
Our first choice - go to a small interior room or the bathroom.
Just remember to get away from any windows that can be blown in.
Things can move very fast. There are stories that people don't even know they're in a tornado until they're in the tornado itself. Sometimes the tornado is right there and you don't know it's happening until you see stuff blowing around.
And it can be even worse in a mobile home.
Mobile homes are not safe in a high winds situation.
...or a high rise.
The higher up you get the stronger the wind in a tornado. So the people who live in a penthouse or something like that are actually more vulnerable.
Your best bet is to move to a lower floor ... Wait in an interior hallway ... And don't make a spectator sport out of it.
Next week, some tips everybody needs to know this summer.
What do you do if you find someone drowning in a swimming pool?
Charles will show us the correct way to save a life.
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