Lightning is a major threat during a thunderstorm. In the United States, between 75 and 100 people are hit and killed by lightning each year.

Myths & Facts About Lightning

  • Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
  • Fact: Lightning can strike the same place twice and may strike it multiple times during the same discharge.
  • Myth: If it is not raining, then there is no danger from lightning.
  • Fact: Lightning has been detected as far as ten miles from the edge of a thunderstorm cell, and at locations with blue skies overhead.

First Aid Recommendations for Lightning Victims

  • Most lightning victims can actually survive an encounter with lightning, especially with timely medical treatment. A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock other people.
  • If a person is struck by lightning, call 911 to provide the location and information about the incident including the number of people injured. Look for burns where the lightning entered and exited the body.
  • If the strike causes the victim's heart and breathing to stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical professionals arrive and take over.

If Your House Is Struck by Lightning

  • Check all around the interior and exterior to make sure that it did not start a fire. If you smell or see smoke, call 911.
  • All appliances and electrical devices that were plugged in when the lightning struck the house should be checked for damage before being used.
  • Indications of possible damage include scorched outlets, scorch marks on the device, melted cords, and broken light bulbs.