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How to protect yourself during a lightning storm

After four people were struck by lightning outside the White House in Washington, DC this week Thursday — two of whom succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced dead — people are understandably focused on the damage and danger that lightning strikes can cause.

How do you keep yourself safe?

What do you need to know about lightning to protect yourself?

An interesting fact: men are more likely to be struck by lightning than men – because they are more commonly involved in outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, golfing and are therefore more exposed to it.

Also, “highly labor-related jobs” such as outdoor construction work make men more vulnerable to lightning, National Weather Service severe weather program coordinator Derek DeRoche told “Fox Weather Sunrise” last month.

Over the past five years, there have been an average of 17 lightning-related deaths in the U.S., although that rate has been dropping steadily since the turn of the century, according to FOX Weather.

Lightning storm
Men are more likely to be struck by lightning than women.
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“It’s a recognition of a now decades-long effort by the National Lightning Safety Council and the National Weather Service to highlight the dangers of lightning and what you can do to stay safe,” Fox Weather reported.

“When we started the effort in 2001, the 10-year average US lightning death toll was 55 deaths per year,” John Jensenius with the National Lightning Safety Council told Fox Weather.

“That 10-year average is now down to 23.”

Here is some other general information about lightning and being safe.

Warmer weather lures us outside, increasing the potential risk of lightning when thunderstorms approach.

Lightning storm
The US has experienced an average of 17 lightning deaths over the past five years.
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Lightning strikes According to the National Weather Service, it kills about 25 million people a year in the United States and kills an average of 47 people.

“Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of the year,” according to the NWS.

“While most lightning fatalities occur early in an approaching storm, a significant number of lightning fatalities occur after thunderstorms develop,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fox News Digital previously reported.

“If thunder is heard – the storm is close enough to a lightning strike.”

More tips to stay safe

If you’re outdoors and hear thunder, move as soon as possible to a “substantial” building with electricity or plumbing, or to an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows fully up, the National Weather Service advises.

If indoors, stay away from corded phones, computers, and other electronic devices that provide direct contact with electricity.

In addition to avoiding plumbing such as sinks, bathtubs and faucets, officials recommend staying away from windows and doors — and not sleeping on concrete floors or leaning against concrete walls.

Lightning storm, horse
Avoid elevated areas and never lie flat to stay safe if caught outside in a lightning storm.
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Based on a review of cases from 2006 to 2018, NOAA said nearly two-thirds of all lightning-related deaths occurred during outdoor recreational events.

For those caught outside with no safe shelter available, officials offer the following tips to reduce the risk of being hit.

Never lie flat on the ground or take shelter under an isolated tree.

Never take shelter under a rock or rocky underhang.

Stay away from high areas.

When storms approach, get out and stay away from bodies of water.

Stay away from conductive objects such as power lines and barbwire fences.

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