By Casey Crow
According to the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassadors, as of July 8, 17 people have died due to lightning strikes in the United States in 2015. This is double the average number of lightning fatalities over the past five years.
For this reason, the WRN team is working to remind people to stay safe during thunderstorms.
All lightning-related deaths are avoidable, and it is important to remember there is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. You must go inside a sturdy building with walls, closed windows, electricity and plumbing, or get in a hard-topped vehicle with the windows rolled up.
According to research by the NOAA, the highest number of fatalities occur during leisure activities, at 64 percent, based on 287 cases from 2006-2014. Of leisure activities, 46 percent of fatalities occurred during fishing, 21 percent during boating and 25 percent on the beach. Therefore, use precautions if you plan to participate in water-related activities during peak storm hours.