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American Red Cross - Northwest Louisiana Chapter  


Before Lightning Strikes...

    • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
    • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.
    • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for the latest forecasts.
When a Storm Approaches...
    • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed. Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances and avoid using them or the telephone.
    • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
    • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job.
    • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

If Caught Outside... 

    • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
    • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.

Protecting Yourself Outside... 

    • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects.
    • Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
Be a Very Small Target... 
    • Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. 
    • Make yourself the smallest target, with as little of you touching the ground, as possible.
    • Do not lie flat on the ground -- this will make you a larger target.

If Someone is Struck By Lightning... 

    • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
    • Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1.
    • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places.
    • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. To become trained in first aid and CPR, check our community courses or call the Red Cross, (318) 865-9545.