Carolyn Holly: My Vantage Point

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Hit by lightning

by Carolyn Holly

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBCarolyn


Posted on June 10, 2010 at 12:56 PM

The other day a good friend asked me, was that you who got hit by lightning on-air? Yep, it was me and yes I was reporting "live" from downtown Boise during a flash flood that canceled the Boise River Fest parade. Although that (shocking) incident happened over 15 years ago, I am often reminded that I am one lucky chick because the lightning never entered by body, it was considered an indirect hit.

So, with our recent storm days I wanted to make sure you know what to do when lightning strikes.

Here is some information from a news release emailed to me from FEMA:

The safest place to be during lightning activity is a large enclosed building, not a picnic shelter or shed. The second safest location is an enclosed metal vehicle, car, van, etc., but not a convertible, bike or other topless or soft top vehicle.  If caught outdoors, and no shelter is nearby, stay away from tall trees.  If there is no shelter-crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall.

Inside the home :
• Avoid contact with corded phones
• Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm arrives. 

• Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
• Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.

FEMA goes on to say that lightning accounts for more average deaths per year than tornados. That surprised me, but then again I never suspected I would be hit by lightning. It happened so fast I really didn't know what had happened until the jolt threw me one direction and my microphone another way.

Bottom line: Lightning strikes fast, so fast you may not even know you're about to get hit. Please take it seriously and be aware of where and what you are going to do when you first suspect it's nearby.

Stay safe, Carolyn