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  • Writer's pictureSEIREMC

Safety Tip of the Month:

Can you shower during a thunderstorm?

Growing up you were probably told by your parents not to wash your hands or shower during a storm to keep from being struck by lightning. They might have also told you to unplug everything as soon as thunder rolled in. Being struck by lightning is a scary concept, but is it true that it can happen inside the house? In southeastern Indiana, we're familiar with the intensity of storms. However, that familiarity can lead to unsafe practices and avoidable accidents. Over time this old wives’ tail has lost its sparkle and that might need to change.

The question remains: can you shower during a thunderstorm? The answer is a resounding no! Being in contact with water or electricity during a thunderstorm can be extremely dangerous. When lightning strikes, it seeks out the closest conductor, whether it's a tree, a house, or an electric pole. If you're touching running water when lightning strikes your home, the risk of electrocution is very real—not just when showering, but even when washing dishes. The electricity from the lightning could travel through your plumbing as water is a perfect conductor.

Keeping this in mind, turn off the laundry, pause the dishes, and stay away from any plumbing. The next time a storm rolls in, take those extra precautions. It's always better to be safe than sorry—your shower and dishes can wait!

Additional Safety Tips During Thunderstorms:

·         Stay Indoors: Seek shelter in a sturdy building or a vehicle with a hard-top roof. Avoid small sheds, picnic shelters, or isolated structures.

·         Unplug Electronics: Lightning strikes can cause power surges that damage electronics. Unplug computers, televisions, and other sensitive equipment to prevent damage.

·         Avoid Corded Phones: Use cordless or cellular phones during storms. Avoid using corded phones as they can conduct electricity if struck by lightning.

·         Stay Away from Windows and Doors: Close windows and doors to prevent strong winds and flying debris from entering. Stay inside until the storm passes.

·         Avoid Contact with Concrete Floors and Walls: Concrete can contain metal reinforcing bars that conduct electricity. Stay off concrete floors and walls during a thunderstorm.

·         Do Not Use Metal Objects: Stay away from metal objects such as pipes, fences, and equipment. Metal conducts electricity and increases the risk of lightning injury.

·         Wait Before Going Outside: After the storm has passed, wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last thunderclap before venturing outdoors. Lightning can strike from a distance.

·         Monitor Weather Alerts: Stay informed about storm developments and warnings. Use weather apps or NOAA Weather Radio for timely updates.

·         Create a Safety Plan: Prepare an emergency kit with essential supplies such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and a first aid kit. Develop a family communication plan in case of power outages or emergencies.

By following these safety guidelines, we can minimize the risk of injury or damage during thunderstorms and ensure that everyone stays safe and prepared in our community. Let's prioritize safety and take proactive steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones during severe weather events.

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