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Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Lightning Safety Awareness Day in Wisconsin is Tuesday, June 22, 2021. The state awareness date falls during the National Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaign, which runs June 20-26.

Lightning strike death data

• According to the National Lightning Safety Council, 17 people were struck and killed by lightning in the United States in 2020. (http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/LSC-LightningFatalities.html)

• As of June 16, two people have been killed by lightning strikes in the U.S. so far this year.

• The most recent lightning-related death reported in Wisconsin was in Minocqua in September of 2016.

• Many those killed in lightning strikes are participating in outdoor recreational activities at the time they are struck. Yard and construction work are also commonly associated with lightning fatalities.

Where to seek shelter

• The safest place to seek shelter is inside a sturdy, enclosed structure, such as a house.

• Never seek cover under a tree, get out of open areas and stay away from bodies of water, such as lakes or rivers.

• Even the inside of a car with a hard top is safer than being out in the open during a thunderstorm.

• If you are inside a vehicle, avoid touching metal surfaces.

Other reminders

• Lightning can travel several miles from the center of a storm. If thunder can be heard, lightning is close enough to strike nearby.

• If a person with you is struck by lightning, health officials say you should immediately dial 911 and start performing CPR. Don’t be afraid to touch the victim – the human body does not hold an electrical charge.

• Always remember that “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!”

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