Each year, the United States averages 300 lightning deaths and 80 injures. All thunderstorms produce lightning and have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.
Lightning's risk to individuals and property is increased because of its unpredictability, which emphasizes the importance of preparedness. It often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
In a Thunderstorm:
- Stay inside a building or hard-top vehicle.
- Avoid showering, bathing, and using a phone that has a cord, except in an emergency.
- Unplug appliances, televisions and computers.
- If outside, take cover immediately but never stand under a tall tree in an open area.
- Don't touch metal, electrical equipment, telephones, bathtubs, water faucets or sinks.