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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Local Lightning Strike

Its here – thunderstorm season. And though it is early in the season, it seems like we’ve already had our fair share for this year. According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, the odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 280,000. But did you know that the odds of your home being struck by lightning are 1 in 200?

I was surprised by that number. But in March there was a story (http://myfox8.com/2012/03/21/lightning-catches-house-on-fire-no-injuries/) on Fox 8 about a couple in High Point whose home was struck by lightning. In the story, Kay Brown described hearing a boom around 7 p.m. She went to investigate and found that the back of her house was on fire. Both Mrs. Brown and her husband, Robert, were surprised it happened to them. Mr. Brown wasn’t home at the time, and thankfully Mrs. Brown and the family pet made it out safely.

The story went on to explain that they were able to salvage some things and their home will need ample repairs. And while many of us have sentimental things, things can be replaced. The most important thing during a storm is to protect yourself and your family.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe during a lightning storm:

Seek safe shelter – a place that is fully enclosed with a roof, walls, and a floor. Avoid seeking shelter in things like carports, covered patios, metal buildings, etc. Second, stay off of landline phones, computers, and any other electrical equipment. Also stay away from all plumbing outlets. Cell phones are safe to use should you need to call 911.

If you don’t have access to a safe shelter, hard topped automobiles are an option. Avoid touching any part of the metal frame or wired device in the vehicle. Things like golf carts and convertibles don’t provide adequate shelter.

The Nation Weather Service has more detailed information about lightning safety on their website. Go to http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm for more information.

If your home receives damage, feel free to call our company expert Chuck Brammer at 336-992-0700. He’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have.

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