Lightning strikes year round, not just in the peak summer months. In 2008 alone, 28 people were killed and hundreds more were injured, some critically, by lightning strikes. Interestingly enough, most people who suffer lightning strikes are males who are outside when a storm is approaching.
There are many ways to protect yourself from lightning. Inside your house or other domain, it is imperative not to use any corded telephone or electrical appliances such as a TV, stereo equipment, kitchen appliances and computers. Cell phones may be used as well as battery operated radios and televisions. It is a good idea to avoid running water of any kind, including taking a shower or bath. Turn off the air conditioning and close the blinds to your windows, if possible.
Remember that if you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. If you are outdoors, get to a safe shelter as quickly as possible. When a storm is approaching, make sure your car windows are closed, and if you are in a convertible, get the top raised as quickly as possible. Stay in your car, even if you have reached your destination, until the storm subsides.
Golf Courses are notorious places for lightning strikes, and many a golfer has suffered the effects of a strike by not adhering to course codes to get off the green at the first sound of thunder or threatening clouds. It is imperative for any one on the course to get to the clubhouse as quickly as possible, even if the thunder has just become noticeable. If on a body of water, swimming or in a boat, it is urgent that you get to land and take shelter as soon as possible. Shelter needs to be a viable building, not a "tiki" hut or small cabin. Lightening can quickly penetrate a flimsy shelter and even travel through the ground to hit anyone inside.
If you are outside when a storm comes up, with no shelter in sight, make yourself as small as possible. This means squatting on the ground away from poles and tall trees. Find a low lying place and the smallest possible tree to take shelter under.
If someone with you has been struck by lightning, call 911 as quickly as possible, using your cell phone if you have one. You can administer CPR and other first aid as necessary.
Remember always to keep an eye out for storms, particularly in the summer months. Some states, such as Florida, are more prone to afternoon thunderstorms including lethal lightning. Make sure you take heed and protect yourself and your loved ones by using common sense and an eye to the sky while indoors or out.