National Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Lightning strikes are an extremely dangerous weather phenomenon that take place at all times of the year. Summer, however, is peak season for lightning strikes.

In the U.S., over 60 people are killed by lightning every year. Respectively, over 300 people are injured due to lightning strikes. People who are struck by lightning and survive, suffer from many long-term, debilitating symptoms, which may include memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, and numbness.

The majority of lightning deaths and injuries are a result of people being caught outdoors in a storm. People have been killed by lightning strikes in recent years doing the following activities:

  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Standing by a tree
  • Golfing
  • Playing soccer
  • Swimming
  • Bike riding
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Loading a truck

Most lightning strikes occur during the summer in the afternoon or early evening, but it is important to be aware at all times and watch the sky. Even if it’s not raining, that doesn’t mean you are safe.

Lightning can in fact strike 10 to 15 miles away from a thunderstorm. So, it is always best to seek shelter even if the storm isn’t taking place directly overhead.

The safest location to be in the event of a thunderstorm is in an enclosed building. If there is not sealed shelter nearby, the next best option is a vehicle. Open areas like a picnic shelter are not safe locations in the event of lightning.