At any second around the world, there are 100 lightning strikes and nearly 2,000 thunderstorms in progress. More occur in areas nearer the equator and in the mountains than in other locations. Florida has the most lightning of any state.
Summer is the season for the most lightning, and lightning storms are more likely to occur in the afternoon.
Lightning electrocutes 75-100 people each year in the United States. It also sets about 10,000 wildland fires. Forest fires and building fires caused by lightning have an annual loss of about $100 million.
Staying safe from lightning involves getting away from the storm or taking shelter in a substantial building. You must also stay away from objects which can conduct the electricity.
Here are further suggestions:
Make your move when you first see lightning or hear thunder; don’t wait until it starts to rain. Get to a building or vehicle with the windows closed.
Outdoors avoid water, high ground, open spaces and metal objects including fences, machinery and golf clubs. Stay away from trees and canopies.
If you are caught outdoors during a severe lightning storm, crouch down with your feet together. Stay at least 15 feet away from other people.
If you are swimming or on the water in a boat, head for shore immediately.
Indoors avoid doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, phones and electrical equipment.
Your workplace probably has equipment to prevent a lightning strike. Never tamper with the lightning protection system, which is designed to prevent shock, fires and explosions. Follow your workplace procedure during a lightning alert.
Promptly report a fire started by a lightning strike so it can be extinguished while it is still small.
Lightning is the biggest and best light show in the world. Enjoy it this summer – from a safe location.