OEM recognizes lightning safety awareness week in New York
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As the summer gets underway, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reminds New Yorkers that June 12-18 is Lightning Awareness Week in New York State.
injuries each year. New York State is considered to have a "moderate" occurrence of lightning, with 3.8 strikes occurring per square mile each year. This compares to 20 per square mile in Florida, and two in California. The bottom line: lightning poses a real threat during the summer months and it is important that New Yorkers know how to respond.
IF YOU ARE IN A HOUSE OR BUILDING:
• Do not use the telephone or any electrical appliance connected to the building's electrical wiring.
• Do not use showers, sinks, or any object, machine or device connected to the building's plumbing system. If lightning strikes the building, the current will likely flow through either the electrical wiring or the water pipes, and you could receive a fatal shock.
• Structures like bus shelters or any small non-metal structures do not provide sufficient lightning protection.
IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE DURING A THUNDERSTORM:
• Stay away from tall, isolated objects like trees, flagpoles or posts, and avoid large open areas like fields or parking lots where
you are the highest object.
• Stay away from lakes, ponds, railroad tracks and fences, which could carry current from a distant lightning strike.
• If there is no shelter, crouch down, grab your ankles and bend forward, so that your head is not the highest part of your body and your head does not touch the ground. Do not lie flat on the ground.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING:
• Call for help. Call 911 or your local ambulance service. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.
• Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries.
• Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people. You can examine them without risk.