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Stay Safe When Lightning Strikes

July 11, 2013
Although lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States.

Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months in the afternoon and evening. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

Be smart this summer to help reduce your risks. Below are a few tips to start:

  1. Postpone outdoor activities when a storm is being forecasted.
  2. Unplug electronic equipment before the storms begins.
  3. Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: The first “30” represents 30 seconds. If the time between when you see the flash and hear the thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightening is close enough to hit you.
  4. During a storm, use your NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  5. Avoid contact with any metal – tractors, motorcycles, bicycles and golf clubs.
  6. Avoid contact with plumbing.  Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes or do laundry.  Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

For more tips and helpful information, visit

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