Greased Lightnin’ Preparedness

This morning, I was leafing through my Red Cross calendar and saw that it is Lightning Preparedness week this week.  I put these little notes to myself on my Outlook calendar because I can’t trust myself to remember anything.  As I was typing up a release to send out with trusty ARC tips, the inevitable happened.  A theme song for the week just popped into my head. I couldn’t help it! It is a weird quirk of mine I suppose, but every time I typed the word “lightning”, I hummed a little bit more.

So, what song has been christened the Lightning Preparedness Week song in Erin’s head???  Here is a clue – Well, this car could be systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic… Give up?? Why couldn’t it be Greased Lightnin’! 

Ah yes, a total classic!  I spent hours and hours growing up singing these songs with my sisters, and as a young girl, I thought this song was, in fact, about lightning. Even though that couldn’t be further from the truth, I feel it an appropriate theme song for this week just because it is catchy and nostalgic for me.

Grease aside, you may not think lightning is that big of a deal, but lightning strikes kill more people each year than do tornadoes. In the United States, an average of 53 people are killed each year by lightning, and hundreds more are severely injured.

So, replay the video above and listen to John Travolta sing again while you read these ARC lightning safety tips.

If you are home during a thunderstorm:

  • Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. If lightning strikes, telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity.
    Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose. Metal pipes and plumbing can conduct electricity if struck by lightning.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job.

If you are outside and a thunderstorm pops up:

  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land, get off the beach, and find shelter immediately. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity.  Each year, numbers of people are killed by nearby lightning strikes while in or on the water.
  • Take shelter in substantial, permanent, enclosed structures, such as reinforced buildings. Avoid unprotected gazebos, picnic shelters, golf carts, baseball dugouts and bleachers.
    If there are no reinforced buildings in sight, take shelter in a car.
  • If you are in the woods, find an area protected by a low clump of trees. Never stand underneath a single large tree in the open.
  • As a last resort and if no structure is available, go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding. Have as little contact with the ground as possible. Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them.
  • Stay away from natural lightning rods, such as golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles and camping equipment. Lightning is attracted to metal and poles or rods.

We have thunderstorms in the forecast this week, so please brush up on all our lightning safety tips, including what to do if you are in your vehicle, by clicking here.

Now that I am electrifyingly smart, I believe that I will brush up on my Grease knowledge. It is a perfect movie to watch during a storm and it appears we will have plenty of them this week.

Posted on June 24, 2013, in Preparedness, Safety Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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