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Lightning Kills, Play It Safe!

Lightning is the second greatest cause of storm-related deaths in the U.S., killing more people than tornadoes or hurricanes! Only floods kill more. Lightning also inflicts devastating life-long debilitating injuries on many more than it kills. Fortunately, most of these lightning deaths and injuries can be easily avoided.

No place outside is safe within 6 miles of a thunderstorm. Use the weather forecast to plan your outdoor activities to avoid the threat. The safest place from lightning is inside a house, or other large fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing. But stay away from corded telephones, electrical appliances and plumbing. Donít watch lightning while standing near windows or in doorways. If you canít get to a house, a vehicle with a metal roof and metal sides is a good second choice.

Use the ď30-30 RuleĒ Ė if you count 30 seconds or less between seeing the lightning and hearing its thunder, go inside immediately. If you canít see the lightning, go inside the moment you hear thunder. Donít go outside until 30 minutes or more after hearing the last thunder. The most dangerous places are elevated places, open areas (sports fields, beaches, golf courses), near tall isolated objects like trees, and on or in the water (swimming, boating, fishing, beaches). Do NOT go under trees to keep dry during a thunderstorm!

Visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov to learn more about lightning safety.