It’s summertime in Alabama and that means afternoon thunderstorms. Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms and is very dangerous.
Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. From 2009-2018, lightning caused an average of 27 deaths per year in the United States. In 2019, Alabama had the second most lightning deaths only trailing Florida and Texas which were tied for first.
What to do if you are outdoors:
- If the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your outdoor activities.
- Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors. Find a safe, enclosed shelter. No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.
- Practice the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
- If no shelter is available, crouch low with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away.
- Stay away from isolated tall trees, towers or utility poles. Lightning tends to strike taller objects.
- Stay away from metal conductors such as wires or fences. Lightning can travel long distances through metal.
What to do if you are indoors:
- Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
- Avoid plumbing during a thunderstorm, including sinks, baths and faucets.
- Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches.
- Do not lie on a concrete floor or lean against a concrete wall.
Safety Reminder: UA Alert System Test
Weather permitting, the University will test its emergency notification systems, including UA Alerts, the public address system and digital signage, Wednesday, July 7, at 11:55 a.m.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.