MOON TOWNSHIP, PA – According to the National Weather Service, summer is the deadliest time of year for lightning strikes.
They said 64% of deaths are a result of doing outside activities during a thunderstorm.
“It’s recreation in the summertime when people are out in the fields, out fishing, enjoying the good times in the summer months,” Shannon Hefferan with the National Weather Service in Moon Township said. “Then a storm comes up and you’re kind of stuck.”
The NWS recommends you to never be outside during a storm. If a storm fires up, you should get inside a sturdy building or car as fast as you can.
They said to avoid open areas and metal conductors like wires and fences. These won’t attract lightning, but lightning can travel through them.
You should never stand under trees, utility poles, and towers.
“It can hit a tree and generate electricity nearby,” Hefferan said.
Lightning can hit 10 miles away from a storm and can have a temperature as hot as the sun.
During the summer, 25 million cloud-to-ground strikes hit the United States and about 30 people will die from being hit.
“Lightning can’t hit the same place twice. That’s not true. Lightning doesn’t have a memory. It’s going to hit where it wants to hit,” Hefferan said.
If someone is unfortunately hit, call 911 and try CPR.
The person is okay to touch. They are not generating electricity.
“If there’s thunderstorms in the area, drag that person out of the thunderstorm and get yourself to safety too cause you might get hit too,” Hefferan told KDKA.
For more on lightning safety, visit this link to the National Weather Service’s lightning brochure.