Lightning is a sudden electric discharge that results from two electrically charged regions in the atmosphere that briefly equalize themselves. This typically occurs during thunderstorms. According to National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there are about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year. Furthermore, over the last 20 years the United States has averaged 47 annual lightning strike fatalities. That places lightning in the second position, just behind floods, for deadliest weather.
With that in mind here are some tips to protect yourself this summer:
- Don't get caught outside during a storm
- Get inside as soon as you hear thunder
- If you are caught outside, avoid open areas
- Stay away from tall trees, towers or utility poles
- Stay away from metal conductors such as fencing
Also, keep in mind if you are indoors it's still not completely safe. In this case it's best to stay off corded phones, and away from electrical equipment and plumbing. Lightning can travel through wires and pipes if the building is struck. So, don't take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.
That said, it's much safer to be inside. So, when thunder roars remember to go indoors!