It's Lightning Awareness Week in New York

Tips to keep you safe if you catch yourself in a storm.

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - The week of June 18th to 24th marks New York State Lightning Awareness Week, which is meant to remind people that when the skies turn stormy, it can be dangerous.

Lightning can, and does, kill. In the U.S., The National Weather Service says an average of 49 people die from lightning strikes annually, along with hundreds more injured, with June, July and August seeing the vast majority of deaths and injuries.

The National Weather Service in Binghamton will be issuing Public Information Statements (PNS) over the NOAA Weather Wire, internet, social media and NOAA Weather Radio each day of Lightning Awareness Week.

With severe weather touching down in the Twin Tiers, here's some tips from the National Weather Service to help keep you safe if you catch yourself in a storm:

Lightning: What You Need to Know

  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

To learn more about lightning safety, visit: and

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