Lightning Safety Awareness Week: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

lightning sxcSioux Falls, SD — Summer is the peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena–lightning.

Though lightning strikes peak in summer, people are struck year round. In the United States, an average of 53 people are killed each year by lightning, and hundreds more are severely injured. National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Todd Heitkamp at the Sioux Falls Office says lightning is one of the most dangerous parts of a thunderstorm.

He says really, if you’re outside there’s no place safe from lighting.

One of the Weather Service’s sayings is, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Heitkamp says if people would just follow that advice, the rate of lightning injury and death would plummet. He says many of the things you were told when you were young still apply, such as don’t bathe during a thunderstorm, and stay off of telephones — especially those that are wired to a wall socket of any kind.

Also, unlike people who are touching power lines, lightning victims do not carry a charge and can safely be touched and rescued.

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