During the past 30 years, lightning killed an average of 62 people per year in the United States based on documented cases, reports Matt Zika of the National Weather Service Office in Marquette.
This is more than the average of 54 deaths per year caused by tornadoes and the average of 49 deaths per year caused by hurricanes.
However, because lightning usually claims only one or two victims at a time, and because lightning does not cause the mass destruction left in the wake of tornadoes or hurricanes, lightning generally receives much less attention than the more destructive weather-related killers.
While documented lightning injuries in the United States average about 300 per year, undocumented injuries caused by lightning are likely much higher, Zika
During a thunderstorm, each flash of cloud-to-ground lightning is a potential killer, said Zika
"That is why we stress: If you can hear the thunder from a storm, you are close enough to be struck by lightning," Zika
"If thunder roars, go indoors."
Where organized sports activities are taking place, coaches, umpires, referees, or camp counselors must protect the safety of the participants and viewers by stopping the activities sooner, so that the participants and spectators can get to a safe place before the lightning threat becomes significant.
"We encourage everyone to take advantage of Lightning Safety Awareness Week to review their plans and discuss with their children the dangers of lightning," Zika