Tips for staying safe in thunderstorms

Author: , Reporter,
Published: Jun 26 2013 08:43:07 AM EDT

It's that time of year when thunderstorms can pop-up out of nowhere.

But if you're caught in the middle, would you know what to do?

People at the National Weather Service say finding shelter is the best option, but if you can't do that, find an open area and get in the stance of last resort.

People love taking advantage of a sunny day.

Some use it to run and others are out on the golf course.

But at anytime, the day can turn dark due to thunderstorms and lightning.

"When I hear it, I get off the course," said Allentown resident Marty O'Hara.

O'Hara is a regular at the Allentown Municipal golf course and says he almost learned the lesson about lightning the hard way while walking the 10th hole of the course with his son.

"A bolt of lightning went up right in front of us and spun us 360 degrees and that was the last time I ever messed with lightning," said O'Hara.

The National Weather Service offers some tips if you are caught outdoors during a thunderstorm:

Always look for shelter -- a home, building, or hardtop automobile.

If you are in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.

If you are in a wide open space, squat low to the ground.

Put your hands over your ears, and head between your knees.

"That's what we call the stance of last resort," said Joe Miketta, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. "When you have nowhere to go and nothing else that you can do."

People watching the skies say they want people to have fun during the summer, but want to make sure people heed the warnings of Mother Nature and go inside when the thunder rolls.

Some say that is advice everyone should listen to.

"When you hear that first rumble of lightning, get off the course because it only takes one time and you are not going to be with us anymore," said O'Hara.

Another tip: if you are outside and the hairs on your arm start to rise, or some say even tingle, it could mean the possibility of lightning in the area and time to go indoors.