(UNDATED) - The National Weather Service says lighting kills more than 50 and injures 500 people nationwide every year. They say many of those numbers are preventable.
That's why they're kicking off Lightning Safety Awareness Week this week.
Meteorologist Jason Puma says this week is all about keeping people safe. Puma says most folks hit by lighting are usually engaged in outdoor leisure activities. He says most thunderstorms happen during Spring and Summer.
Puma says there's a simple rhyme that most folks should remember: "WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS."
Puma says the clap of thunder means people should immediately seek shelter. That includes a sturdy building or hard-topped vehicle. Puma says people should avoid trees and open park areas during storms. He says thunder always follows lightning. Puma says you can't have thunder without lightning.
Finally, Puma says people should have safety plans in place for lightning. Electrical Engineer Danny Bowen says lightning is so dangerous because electrical charges in the atmosphere seek the easiest path to the ground. Bowen says things like fences and high rods are easy for lightning to detect and moved earthward. Bowen says even standing next to fences or trees can creates greater opportunity for energy to dissipate and cause harm.
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