RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Summer is in full swing and as the mercury rises, thunderstorms become more of a reality.
June, July, and August are the peak months for lightning here in North Carolina. Lightning has already claimed the lives of nine people this year across the country.
On Sunday, a police officer at Topsail Beach was struck by lightning after helping a teenage girl who was also struck. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment.
According to the National Weather Service, 312 people have died from lightning related injuries between 2006 and 2015 and 13 of those deaths were here in the Tar Heel state.
North Carolina had the third highest number of lightning casualties from 1959 to 2007. More than 415,000 cloud to ground strikes dazzled the sky in 2015 alone.
Those strikes are dangerous to you, especially when outdoors. Here are a few tips to help you get through the summer safely!
- Avoid open areas.
- Stay away from the tallest objects in the area.
- Do not shelter under tall or isolated trees.
- In the woods, put as much distance between you and any tree.
- If in a group, spread out so that you increase the chances for survivors who could come to the aid of any victims from a lightning strike.
- Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.