Summer is the peak season for one of the nation's deadliest
weather phenomena -- lightning. All thunderstorms are dangerous
because all thunderstorms produce lightning. Though lightning
strikes peak in summer, people are struck year round. In the United
States, an average of 51 people are killed each year by lightning,
and hundreds more are severely injured.
Thunderstorms are also associated with other natural hazards
including, tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.
What you should know about lightning
- No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.
- If you hear thunder, you should immediately find a safe
place to shelter and remain there until at least 30 minutes
after you hear the last thunder sound.
- Lightning often will strike outside of a period of heavy
rain when it appears that the thunderstorm is less severe.
- Lightning can occur as far as 10 miles away from areas
- "Heat lightning" is still dangerous. It is still lightning-
just from a thunderstorm that is too far away to be heard.
- People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an
electrical charge and should therefore be attended to
immediately upon being struck.
For more information on how to prepare for yourself for
thunderstorms and lightning, check out FEMA's
Thunderstorms and Lightning Safety page.
Remember, if you see it, flee it. If you hear it, fear it.