A new weather system, predicted by the NWS,  is headed our way. It should arrive in West Central Montana by sometime Saturday. There’s the possibility of some fairly intense thunderstorms with lightning.

It just so happens that today (6-21) is the first day of Lightning Safety Awareness Week. According to the Insurance Information Institute lightning is an underrated weather hazard. It causes $1 billion in property damage each year. Lightning is a leading storm related killer.

The I.I.I. offers the following tips to protect homes and businesses against power surges and lightning strikes:


1. Install a lightning protection system.

2. Use surge protectors.

3. Unplug expensive electronic equipment. As an added precaution, unplug expensive electronic equipment such as TVs, computers and the like if you know a storm is approaching.

Do’s and Don’ts for Lightning Safety:

1. When Thunder Roars...GO INDOORS!

2. Avoid areas where you will be the highest object.

3. Certain locations are extremely hazardous during thunderstorms.

4. If caught on high ground or in an open area, seek shelter in a low area and stay away from trees.

5. To avoid side flashes (voltage from a nearby struck object); Keep away from telephone poles, power lines, pipelines or other electrically conductive objects.

6. Stay off the telephone! In your home, don’t stand near open windows, doorways or metal piping. Stay away from the TV, plumbing, sinks, tubs, radiators and stoves.

You can get more information from the Insurance Information Institute.