Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. At any time of year someone can get struck.

Lightning kills an average of 49 people each year in the United States and hundreds more are severely injured. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur in the summer months due to the combination of outdoor activities and lightning strikes.

Anyone who is outdoors when a thunderstorm begins to approach needs to take appropriate actions in a timely matter. There is no place outdoors that is safe from a lightning strike. It is important to remember that if you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

During thunderstorms, stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that puts you in direct contact with electricity. Avoid bathing, washing hands or dishes and do not do laundry. Stay away from windows and doors and avoid contact with concrete walls as they may contain metal reinforcing bars.

Lastly, it is important t

o remember victims of lightning do not retain the charge and are not "electrified." It is safe to help them. Lightning can and often does strike the same place twice. An umbrella can increase your chances of being struck if the umbrella makes you the tallest object in the area - avoid being the highest object. Finally, rubber shoes will not give you any meaningful protection from lightning.

Stay safe everybody!

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