How to reduce your chances of being struck by lightning - | WBTV Charlotte

How to reduce your chances of being struck by lightning

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

As more people spend time outdoors during the summer months, the number of people struck and killed by lightning significantly increases.

According to the National Weather Service, 352 people died as a result of lightning between 2006 and 2016.

Seven people have already died this year across the United States, including two in North Carolina.

Lightning kills nearly 50 people each year and injures hundreds of others.

More than half of those lightning deaths occur to people enjoying outdoor activities. If you hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.

As soon as you hear thunder, seek shelter indoors immediately until the storm has passed.

If there is no shelter nearby, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of being struck.

First, avoid open fields or the tops of hills or ridges. Lightning tends to be attracted to the tallest point in a given area.

If you are the only thing present in an open field, that tallest point is you.

Next, stay away from tall trees or other tall objects.

Our basic human instincts lead us to seek protection from the storm under a tree, but by doing this, we are putting ourselves at a greater risk of being struck by lightning.

It is also important to avoid water and metal objects.

While water and metal do not attract lightning, a lightning current can easily flow through those objects.

If you are with a group of people, spread out and move away from one another. Doing this decreases the chances of a lightning current traveling between all members of the group.

Indoors is still the safest place to wait out a storm, but these tips can help reduce your risk of being struck by lightning and potentially save your life.

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