Lightning Fatalities on the Rise; Safety Urged

Lynchburg, VA - The summer thunderstorms we've been experiencing are no joke. Thunder means lightning and lightning can be deadly. Monday kicked off National Lightning Awareness Week. Emergency officials want you to remember this, one main rule about electrical storms. "When thunder roars, move indoors. Whenever you thunder, start counting. If you can't count to thirty before you hear thunder, lightning is dangerously close and it's time to get inside. While there were no deaths in Virginia last year, fatalities are on the rise. Experts say it's because more Americans are spending time outdoors. For your safety, experts say to follow these guidelines when thunder starts clapping: Seek cover, stay out of the water, and avoid tall objects like trees, power lines and metal objects. If you're indoors, avoid using electrical appliances. Do not use your water because water is a conductor. The copper pipes and plumbing are also conductors of electricity. If you're in a storm and you feel your hair start to stand on end, drop to the ground and get on the balls of your feet, cover your ears with your hands and put your head between your knees. The point is to minimize contact with the ground.

If you with someone struck by lightning, there are live-savings measures your can take, experts say.

"You can do CPR, and you would do CPR like you would in any other case," said Lynchburg Firefighter Cary Orange. "They're not energized you can touch the patient." A common lightning myth is that rubber tires on your vehicle are what protect you from lightning. It's actually the metal frame that redirects the current to the ground as long as your windows are rolled up.