How to stay safe when lightning strikes - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

How to stay safe when lightning strikes

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NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – North Carolina ranks third in fatalities and second in overall causalities caused by lightning strikes, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists are warning about the dangers of strikes during Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 23 – 30.

The peak months for lightning activity in the United States actually overlap with the summer season of June, July and August. Meteorologist Sandy LaCorte said lightning can travel 10, even 15 miles, from a storm that might seem like a safe distance away.

"It could be clear skies or just some clouds around, but with a storm just down the road lightning could strike," she said.

More than 240 people have died from lightning strikes across the United States since 2006, according to the NWS. Roughly 65% of those deaths happened during outdoor activities at the beach, a lake or a camping or sporting event.

"What's scary is that fishing came in as the number one activity where people were killed from lightning," said LaCorte.

To keep safe, the NWS advises "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors." Once you're inside, LaCorte said there are several extra steps to take that will ensure your safety.

  • Avoid electrical equipment like hair dryers and televisions.
  • Wait to use any plumbing like sinks, tubs or showers.
  • Do not use a corded phone. Cells are okay.
  • Stay away from doors and windows.
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