With the summer solstice upon us, Hudson Valley residents are being urged to be aware of an uptick in lightning strikes recently.
There has been an increase in lightning lately, with New York State leading the country in lightning strike deaths, according to reports.
From 2006 to 2016 more than 350 people were fatally struck by lightning in the United States, two-thirds of whom were outside enjoying leisure activities, such as fishing, beach, camping and boating deaths. June July and August have proven to be the peak months for lightning activities in the country.
According to the National Weather Service, during a lightning storm, no place outside is safe, and if one hears thunder, lightning is close enough to strike the immediate area. When thunder is heard, Hudson Valley residents should take shelter in a "substantial building with electricity or plumbing, or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows up." Residents should stay in shelter for at least a half hour after the last sounds of thunder.
Once indoors, residents should stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment, the National Weather Service notes. Plumbing should be avoided, as should windows and doors. It is not advisable to lie on concrete floors or against concrete walls.
If one is caught outside with no safe shelter, they should avoid elevated areas, including trees, and never lie flat on the ground. A cliff or rocky overhang should not be used for shelter. Ponds, lakes and bodies of water should be avoided.
The Dutchess County Emergency Management Department also issued a series of safety tips following the rise in lightning with common sense advice to help residents avoid becoming New York’s latest lightning strike fatality.
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