The overlooked danger in severe weather: lightning strikes

The overlooked danger in severe weather: lightning strikes
Andrea De Stefani/

Tuesday is Lightning Safety Awareness Day in Wisconsin, a time to remember the dangers that lightning can present to life and property.

On average, nearly 50 people in the United States die due to lightning strikes every year, and the majority of deaths occur among people who had been enjoying outdoor leisure activities.

The key to staying safe in a thunderstorm is to get to a safe place before the lightning threat occurs.
If thunderstorms are in the forecast, you should map out a severe weather plan, including the closest safe shelters, before you head out to the links or the game.

No place outside is safe from lightning strikes, but if you are caught outside, get off elevated areas such as hills or peaks, get away from bodies of water and objects that conduct electricity, and don’t use a rocky overhang or tree for shelter.

When you are inside, stay off of pieces of equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. Also, avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets, and stay away from windows and doors for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.