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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Taunton MA
931 AM EDT THU JUN 23 2016

...Lightning Safety Awareness Week Continues -
Lightning Myths and Facts...

Myth - If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm,
you should crouch down to reduce your risk of being struck.
Fact - Crouching does not make you any safer outdoors.
You are NOT safe anywhere outdoors. Run to a substantial
building or hard-topped vehicle. If you are too far to run
to one of these options, you have no good alternative.

Myth - Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
Fact - Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly,
especially if it is a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire
State Building is hit nearly 100 times per year.

Myth - If it`s not raining or there aren`t even any clouds
overhead, you are safe from lightning.
Fact - Lightning often strikes more than 3 miles from the center
of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud.
So-called bolts-from-the-blue can strike 10-15 miles from the

Myth - Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by
insulating you from the ground.
Fact - Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal
roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires.
Remember, convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open-shelled
outdoor recreational vehicles, and cars with fiberglass shells
offer no protection from lightning. When lightning strikes a
vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground.
Don`t lean on doors during a thunderstorm.

Myth - A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them,
you`ll be electrocuted.
Fact - The human body does not store electricity. It is perfectly
safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid. This is
the most chilling of lightning myths. Imagine if someone died
because people were afraid to give CPR!

Myth - Metal structures or wearing metal on the body (jewelry,
cell phones, MP3 playrs, watches, etc.) attract lightning.
Fact - Height, pointy shape, and isolation are the dominant
factors controlling where a lightning bolt will strike. The
presence of metal makes absolutely no difference. When lightning
threatens, take proper protective action immediately by seeking
a safe shelter. Do not waste time removing metal. However, while
metal does not ATTRACT lightning, it does CONDUCT it, so stay
away from metal fences, railings, bleachers, etc.

Myth - If trapped outside and lightning is about to strike,
I should lie flat on the ground.
Fact - Lying flat increases your chances of being affected by a
deadly ground current. Keep moving until you find a safe

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety,
visit the NOAA lightning safety awareness Web site at


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