BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Most people believe they’ll never get struck by lightning, but there have been recent reports of that happening not only in Alabama but also nationally.
It’s a concern that leaves many wondering how can someone avoid the risk.
“When thunder roars go indoors,” said Chris Vagasky, Meteorologist and Lightning Data Specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council.
Vagasky says staying indoors is the number one rule to follow when storms strike. It’s also one way some ensure they’re safe.
“Usually, I just take a good nap because usually when it’s lightning or thundering. It’s going to get dark and it’s going to rain,” said Osie Pullum, a Birmingham resident.
When it comes to staying indoors, there are rules that come with doing so.
“You don’t want to necessarily be looking out the window at the storm. If you are standing near a door near a window, electricity can actually jump through that,” Vagasky said.
If you’re caught traveling during a lightning storm being inside a car is actually a safe bet.
“The metal shell of the car actually keeps you safe. The electricity actually travels through the shell and then jumps to the ground,” Vagasky said.
According to the National Lightning Safety Council, there have been eight deaths caused by lightning so far this year. Nationally the yearly average of deaths related to lightning range from 20 to 30.
The most recent death happened in Florence, which took the life of one man who was walking back to work from taking his break in the middle of a storm.
Although the number of lightning strike deaths has declined over the years, the risk is still there, especially throughout the summer months.
“Because it’s summertime you have more thunderstorms more lightning and also over the summer you have more people that are out and about enjoying the outside and when you’re outside and there’s lightning around that’s a recipe for injuries and deaths,” Vagasky said.
Vagasky also debunked a few myths, stating that wearing lightning does not care what a person wears. Wearing rubber shoes will not prevent a person from being struck by lightning.