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Lightning Safety Awareness Week Strikes Again

June 17, 2017

Lightening safetyThe Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is partnering with the National Weather Service to observe Lightning Safety Awareness Week in Indiana from June 18-24. IDHS encourages Hoosiers to be safe this summer and understand the dangers of lightning.


According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes in the United States about 25 million times a year. One lightning bolt can reach temperatures around 50,000°F, which is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. The total energy in a large thunderstorm is estimated to be enough to power the entire United States of America for 20 minutes.


A lightning strike can be deadly, but these deaths can often be prevented by taking precautions during storms. In 2016, the United States had 38 lightning-related fatalities according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. There has already been one fatality in 2017.


Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors. Follow these steps if lightning strikes when outdoors:

  • At the first sign of lightning or thunder, seek shelter.
  • Do not resume outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes after last observed lightning or thunder.
  • Avoid water, high ground, large open areas, isolated trees and all metal objects or electrical wires.
  • If thunder is heard, it is still possible to be struck by lightning, even if no lightning is observed.


For more information on severe weather safety, visit