Over the weekend, three adults out hiking near the Devil's Head lookout in Douglas County were struck by lightning and one passed away as a result of her injuries.

That begs the question of what can we do to avoid that ever happening to us?

Believe it or not, there are clues that lightning may strike, and knowing what those are will help keep the same thing from happening to you.

Where exactly lightning will strike no one can predict with 100% accuracy, but there are a few things we can do to protect ourselves in possible lightning strike situations.

First, lightning strikes in the U.S. around 25 million times a year. Most of the people who were injured by lightning strikes weren't, in fact, struck directly. Lightning, when it strikes the ground can spread to surrounding areas and affect anyone nearby. Ground current strikes kill more people than direct strikes.

Think golfers are the ones most likely to be hot? Nope. It's people out fishing. According to the NOAA, people out fishing were hit three times as much as golfers.

So what can we do?

Take these precautions when lightning is present and you can protect yourself and the ones you love.

  • When you hear thunder, move inside to a place with electricity and plumbing or a metal-topped vehicle with the windows rolled up.
  • Stay in a safe, sheltered area for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
  • Stay off of electrical equipment such as corded phones and computers.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, faucets, and tubs.
  • Stay away from windows and doors and stay off of the porch.
  • Do not lie on or lean against concrete walls of floors.

If you are outdoors there are also a few things you can do to stay safe.

  • First, never take shelter under a tree.
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Remove yourself from hills or any elevated areas.
  • Immediately get away from bodies of water
  • Do not stand around or near anything that conducts electricity.
  • Crouch (not lie down) with feet close together. If you are with a large group of people, find a ravine and separate yourself by about 20 feet.

Hopefully, no one around here gets hit by lightning.

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