Lightning safety myths busted

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS)

Hundreds or even thousands of lightning strikes can hit during a pop up storm during a South Carolina summer. 

Call them nature's magnificent light show or the hassle that keeps us all indoors on summer nights. It seems everyone's heard their own tale of how to stay safe during a storm. 

 "Just get away from the windows... as far as possible," said Cedric Gaymon. "Unplug everything from the walls and be quiet," 

WIS's First Alert Weather team says Gaymon's spot on, and so is this woman who avoids certain areas in her home during a storm.

"I've heard that when it's lightning you should stay away from open windows and you should not take a shower," said Denise Carroway.

Others take extra precautions our meteorologist say aren't necessary.

"Mainly, my mom tells me that you stay away from windows and make sure you sit down and stay quiet, and make sure you always turn out the lights," said Kiersten Freeman.

"Yeah. You think about turning off your lights, and you don't have electricity already circulating, but a strike is a strike," said Meteorologist Ben Tanner. 

Tanner says proximity to lightning is another misconception. 

"You get a hit and you've got 50 people standing outside at a concert at a huge outdoor festival, and they all... even though it's not a direct strike, it is a partial strike," said Tanner.

Tim Miller says the biggest misconception he's heard has to do with rubber. 

"People also think, you know, I'm going to wear rubber shoes and I'll be fine on the golf course. No. Not at all. Rubber's not going to save you from a lightning strike," said Tim Miller. 

So, if that just debunked your beliefs about lightning, here's a new one to wow your friends.

"A strike of lightning can light a 100 watt bulb for three months," said Miller. 

How's that for power?