Safety tips for lightning safety awareness week

By  | 

PARKERSBURG, W. Va. (WTAP) - While we talk about severe weather all of the time and the risks that come with it we rarely talk about lightning.
This week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. During this time we try to educate you about the dangers of lightning.
Here in Ohio and West Virginia, we see over 600 thousand lightning strikes a year on average, with those numbers it is very likely it will strike dangerously close to you.
Lightning doesn’t have to be dangerous though if you take the correct precautions.
I'm here at City Park and it is places like this where most people are struck by lightning.
While most people will survive, an average of 51 a year will die from being struck.
Most thunderstorms occur in June and July, which are times when people tend to be outside enjoying the summer weather.
When you are outside and you see a storm coming it is best to head inside. In fact, being indoors is the safest place you can be when it comes to thunderstorms.
Another safe place to go into is a car where you will be safe from any lightning, the metal frame helps dissipate any electricity that moves through the car.
One misconception is that you have to be in the storm to see lightning but actually lightning can strike as far as 25 miles away from a storm which means it doesn’t need to be raining where you are.
A common saying is “When Thunder Roars head Indoors”, thunder is caused by lightning so as soon as you hear any thunder there must be some lightning near you.
It is pretty easy to stay safe during an average summer thunderstorm; the best advice is to go inside and wait the storm out, because being outside isn’t worth risking your life.
From Parkersburg, I’m Meteorologist Cory Smith. This is Home.