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Monday, May 18, 2009

NORTH BALTIMORE, Ohio – Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative reminds members to keep safe from lightning during the spring and summer months.

According to the National Weather Service, lightning kills an average of 62 people each year in the United States. In 2008, 27 people died from a “bolt out of the blue.” The majority of these fatalities occurred outside, but caution must be taken indoors as well.

Follow the tips below to keep you and your family safe from lightning this summer:

  • Seek shelter immediately if you hear thunder; lightning is not far away.
    Find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed vehicle with the windows rolled up.
  • DO NOT seek shelter under trees.
  • DO NOT seek shelter under picnic or rain structures, or in open-frame vehicles. Avoid objects like electric wires or metal fences.
  • If you cannot find shelter in a building or closed-frame vehicle, keep your feet together and crouch on the ground using the “lightning crouch:” feet together, squat low, tuck head, and cover ears.
  • If you are inside, do not plug or unplug anything during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use corded telephones – phone use is the number one cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Avoid contact with other electrical equipment like computers.
  • Avoid contact with water, pipes, washers, or dryers.
  • If a person is struck by lightning, call 911 and care for the victim immediately. You cannot be harmed by touching the victim after he or she has been struck by lightning.
  • Although many people think lightning causes most surges, in reality it is one of the less common causes. In fact, about 80% of all power surges are created by electronic equipment inside your home (air conditioners, refrigerators) because such high-powered devices use a lot of energy to turn on/off, and as mentioned earlier, can gradually be worn down over time. You might be surprised to know that only 15% or less come from unexpected lightning strikes. However, it is still a good idea to protect your expensive equipment with a surge protection device.

We demonstrate our Concern for Community by volunteering and donating to local charitable causes. Nearly $500,000 in grants have been distributed in the last decade through grants and Operation Round Up funds to individuals and organizations in need. We also provide assistance to Habitat for Humanity, schools, churches and community events. To learn more, click on Community Involvement above. learn more

Members benefit from electric service reliability, competitive rates, money after co-op bills are paid in the form of patronage/capital credits, discounts, informative co-op publications, easy-to-access payment plans, rebates, scholarships, family-friendly Member-only events and a vote in the direction of Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op. To learn more, click on Member Benefits above. learn more

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative has granted more than $100,000 in scholarships within the last decade. An additional Power Systems Engineer (PSE) Scholarship has been added to the program. The winner of this scholarship is eligible for paid internship(s) in the co-op’s engineering department. learn more