JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – American Medical Response (AMR) paramedics are urging neighbors and visitors around central Mississippi to stay safe when faced with lightning.
“Lightning is one of the most underrated killers in the country and a hazard many of us don’t take seriously,” said Steve Peacock at AMR Central Mississippi. “The warmer months bring increased threats of lightning strikes, so everyone needs to exercise extra caution when thunderstorms are brewing.”
If you are outdoors when lightning threatens, AMR offers the following tips:
- Move away from tall poles and isolated trees.
- Move to the lowest possible location.
- If you are with other people, spread them several yards apart from each other.
- Avoid using bicycles, farm machinery, rakes or other metal tools.
- If you are wading, swimming or on a boat, head to shore immediately.
National Weather Service studies show about 30 people are killed in the U.S. by lightning each year and hundreds more are injured. Some victims of lightning suffer devastating neurological injuries that continue for the rest of their lives. About two thirds of the deaths are associated with outdoor recreational activities.