CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Lightning kills and causes permanent injury to hundreds of people every year. It is a serious danger.
All thunderstorms, severe or benign, contain lightning. There is no safe place outside when lightning threatens.
Anytime you can hear thunder you are within striking distance, so when thunder roars, go indoors. Too many people delay seeking shelter until it is too late.
Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are safe protection options. Rain shelters, small sheds and open vehicles, like golf carts, are not safe.
Avoid open garages, covered patios, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, sheds, greenhouses or golf shelters.
Once inside you need to stay away from plumbing fixtures, like showers, bathtubs and sinks. Avoid corded telephones. It is a good idea to unplug electronics, like stereo systems, gaming systems and computers.
Absolutely avoid seeking shelter under trees or clusters of trees. Lightning is often attracted to these tall objects and you are at risk of serious injury even standing beneath one.
If someone is struck by lightning, they will likely need immediate medical attention. It is important to note that lightning victims do not carry any kind of electric charge and are safe to touch.