How to stay safe during a lightning storm - WNEM TV 5

How to stay safe during a lightning storm

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The sights and sounds of thunder and lightning are enough to frighten most, but with the proper safety you might be able to cope with your fears.

“When thunder roars, go indoors.”

It’s a catchy little phrase, but one that could save your life.

According to the National Weather Service, 16 people have died so far in 2016 from being struck by lightning.

“The best way to protect yourself against lightening is to stay inside, honestly. If you see lightening, or hear thunder, and you're outside, head inside that is the best course of action,” Meteorologist Claire Cameron said.

What happens if you forgot to check the weather forecast and find yourself outside in a thunderstorm without somewhere to go inside?

TV5 Meteorologist Claire Cameron said a car is safe, as long as it has a metal roof but when it comes to lightening, it's a big deal, that could put you in serious danger.

“One bolt of lightning can hold up to one million volts of electricity. Which, usually when someone gets struck by lightning it's fatal, the reason for that is they go into cardiac arrest. Your body is not meant to hold that much electricity,” Cameron said.

One of the worst things you can do if you stand next to a tree, or whatever else is the tallest thing around you.

“If you hear the thunder, you are close enough to get struck by lightning. Sometimes lightning can be 10 to 15 kilometers away from the thunderstorm. So even if you're not seeing the rain yet, if you know the storms are coming stay inside,” Cameron said. 

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