When the thunder roars, head indoors. It is the motto for Environment Canada’s Lightning Safety Week, which runs until June 18th.
With the possibility of unsettled weather, including thunderstorms, rolling through Weyburn and area, it is a perfect time for the reminder of what to do in the case of a thunderstorm, according to Terri Laing, a warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada. As she explained, lightning is the number one cause of weather-related injuries and deaths in the summer, even more so than tornadoes, even though most people take precautions when a tornado is around. She added it isn’t just during the storm you need to worry, either.
“Studies have shown that one-third of all deaths and injuries occur before the storm actually hits, and one-third occur after the storm is over,” Laing stated. She elaborated it essentially says people aren’t seeking shelter soon enough, and then are coming back outside too soon.
What does she recommend people do when lightning is approaching? At the first sign of it, seek enclosed shelter, preferably a building with doors and a window. Avoid being under a tree, or other objects that are likely to be struck by lightning. If you have nothing else available, your car also works. Once the storm has passed, wait for thirty minutes after you hear the last rumble of thunder before heading outdoors.
Laing also recommends being aware of the weather situation and checking forecasts, as you make plans for the day.