One of the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazards is lightning, which has been the second largest killer of people in storms in the United States since 1959. According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes the earth about 25 million times each year in the United States.
If you are planning an outdoor activity, you should always check the weather forecast and keep an eye on the weather. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are at risk even if you don't see lightning, which can often precede rain. To calculate how far away a storm is from you, use the "30-30 Rule" . . . count the number of seconds from when you see lightning until you hear thunder. If less than 30 seconds elapses between the time you see the lightning and hear the thunder, seek shelter.
Individuals should seek shelter as soon as possible if caught outside before or during a lightning storm. It's best to go inside an insulated building with plumbing and wiring. If your only other alternative is to be openly exposed, seek shelter inside a fully enclosed metal vehicle with the windows up. Do not touch metal outside or inside the vehicle.