The danger of lightning is very real. Few things freak me out as much as people who sit on their porch to watch a thunderstorm with active lightning. Last year, Maine had the 5th highest per capita lightning casualties rate in the country. It's not that we get more lightning, it's that we spend so much time outdoors in the summer: on the water, playing sports or away from shelter.

We may get our first thunderstorm of the season this weekend, so here are some reminders. You should go over them with your kids too!

  • Check the National Weather Service for storm activity before starting your day outdoors.
  • If you hear the rumble of thunder find a for real shelter immediately.
  • If a legit shelter is not available, the next best thing is a hard-topped metal vehicle, with the windows rolled up.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated objects or wide open spaces.
  • If you are indoors, stay off your land line, computers and electronics.
  • Unplug electronics before the storm begins, not during it!
  • Dad was right, stay away from windows and doors.
  • Lightning can travel through plumbing, hold off on your shower or tubby.
  • Give the skies a half hour to settle after hearing the last rumble of thunder, before venturing outside again.
  • Avoid sheds and partial shelters, like gazebos or pavilions.
  • If you feel tingling or your hair stands on end, a lightning strike could be coming. Crouch on the balls of your feet with your head down and your hands on your knees. DON'T lie down! Make as little contact with the ground as you can.
  • If you are stuck on the water in a boat, get as low as you can in it. Go down below if it's possible.
  • If you are on land, look for a low spot away from tall trees or pipes.

If someone does get hit by lightning;

Call for emergency help right away!

The person that has been struck is safe to touch, no electric current remains. If they are unconscious they may appear dead. Immediately begin C.P.R., you could save their life! Learn how to administer C.P.R. for Children and C.P.R. for Adults. Common injuries from lightning strike are burns, fractures and wounds- treat what you can.

A person struck by lightning may also go into shock.

Have a safe summer and please use the links that I have included to brush up on how to administer C.P.R. and to treat someone who is going into shock. I hope that you never need to use it, but it's good to know!