(MIAMI, July 23, 2015) – Exercising a high level of caution during inclement weather conditions is necessary in order to ensure your safety. At times, inclement weather brings lightning, and with South Florida being the lightning capital of the world, extra precautionary steps should be exercised to avoid injury. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) recommends that you take the following precautions:
- When thunder roars, immediately head indoors.
- When outside, avoid being the tallest object.
- Don’t stand under or near an isolated tree or small group of trees.
- Get inside a sturdy structure before the storm approaches.
- Unplug all unnecessary appliances.Don’t use the telephone during a storm unless it’s an emergency.
- Don’t stand by open windows, doors or patios during a thunderstorm.
- Get out of boats and away from water.
- If a sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard-topped automobile and keep the windows up.
- Don’t take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.
- If you feel your skin tingle or your hairs stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground- do not lie flat on the ground.
- If someone is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 immediately.
MDFR recommends that you take the following precautions while driving in the rain.
- Make sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition prior to leaving the house.
- Make sure that your headlights are working.
- When it starts raining, turn on your headlights immediately.
- Reduce your speed.
- If you begin to feel threatened by the rain, pull over until it calms down.
- Keep one space between you and the car ahead.
- Avoid flooded areas.
- If you are unable to avoid puddles, make sure that you drive very slowly and afterwards dry your brakes off by pressing on them gently and slowly.
Each year in the United States, an average of 62 people are killed by lightning. Lightning is the deadliest weather hazard in Florida, claiming more lives than any other weather occurrence combined. In 2014, the state of Florida recorded 1,470,758 cloud-to-ground flashes. According to the National Weather service, 1,000 people are sent to the hospital annually for lightning-related injuries. These injuries can be life-long and debilitating.
For more information, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.