Now that summer has officially begun, so has the heaviest lightning season. In an average year, there are approximately 57 fatalities caused by lightning strikes occurring from June to August. Since the beginning of June, there have already been 4 deaths caused by the severe weather-three of them occurring during agricultural work and one related to tornado search-and-rescue. Last year, there were 29 fatalities, which classifies as a “remarkably low year”. The top 5 states for lightning fatalities over the past 10 years are Florida (62), Colorado (26), Texas (24), Georgia (19) and North Carolina (18).
Not every lightning strike victim is killed-many survive the shock.
Your odds of being hit by lightning are about 1 in 700,000-but don’t consider yourself invisible just yet. Interested in knowing what really happens to the human body when lightning strikes? Check out NASA’s Human Voltage to read about documented happenings that have occurred when people and lightning combine.
The National Weather Service has these 5 words of advice: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
“There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. Just remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! Too many people wait far too long to get to a safe place when thunderstorms approach. Unfortunately, these delayed actions lead to many of the lightning deaths and injuries in the US…The best way to protect yourself from lightning is to avoid the threat. You simply don’t want to be caught outside in a storm…Have a lightning safety plan, and cancel/postpone activities early in thunderstorms are expected. monitor weather conditions and get to a safe place before the weather becomes threatening. Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are safe options. Rain shelters, small sheds and open vehicles ARE NOT SAFE…When inside, do not touch anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet, plumbing and corded phones. Cell phones and cordless phones are safe. Also, keep away from outside doors and windows and do not lie on a garage floor…”
If someone has been struck by lightning, they should seek medical attention immediately. Those who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to touch. Call 911 while monitoring the victim; begin CPR if needed.