AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As many people know, I love lightning!
It is by far my favorite type of weather phenomena and sometimes I like to get really close.
However, I deeply respect the power of lightning and safety is my number one priority.
Lightning is fairly common around here, and a lot of people tend to ignore it, but lightning claims more lives than hurricanes and tornadoes combined.
Just recently, I was watching a storm, and everyone was still in the pool, even as lightning got closer.
Finally, I couldn't bear it anymore and strongly advised everyone to get out of the pool.
ANY outdoor activity can put you in the crosshairs of lightning. If you are outside golfing, playing baseball, hiking, fishing or ANY outdoor activity, you NEED to find shelter as lightning nears.
If you are outside during a thunderstorm and can hear thunder, then you can be struck by lightning.
You should immediately think about going into either a building or a vehicle to get out of harm's way.
As most people know, lightning is attracted to the highest object such as trees or poles. That means if you seek shelter under a tree, you have a greater chance of getting struck by lightning.
So, what happens if you are in an open field, you are the tallest object and there is no shelter in sight?
Whether the storm is above you or coming towards your direction, the best course of action is to do the lightning crouch.
The lightning crouch consists of crouching towards the ground but not completely grounding yourself. You need to stand on the tips of your toes so you if lightning strikes nearby, the full charge won't go through your body.
Now that being said, the lightning crouch is a last-ditch effort if you are stranded in the open and it will NOT protect you from a direct lightning strike.
Getting indoors is always a safer option.
Hopefully by understanding how deadly lightning can be and following these tips, you won't ever experience the full power of lightning.
Remember: when thunder roars, go indoors!