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Wyoming ranks in top 5 nationwide for lightning injuries and deaths per capita

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

Continuing with Wyoming Severe Weather Awareness Week, today we bring you lightning safety tips.

The National Weather Service said if you hear the rumble of thunder or see lightning in the distance, you are in the danger zone. At that point, it is time to head indoors and don’t use any electrical appliances.

Wyoming ranks is in the top five nationwide for lightning injuries and deaths per capita. The National Weather Service says this is partially because lightning strikes the tallest object, and people are the tallest objects in many cases when they’re hiking, or in an area without trees.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Tim Troutman stated, “It’s important that if your hair stands on end if you’re outside hiking, your skin tingles, you’re about to be struck by lightning in a matter of a second or so. At that point, you definitely don’t want to stay where you’re at. You want to move and run real quick, take a jog in one direction or the other. Then get down as low to the ground as you can. Crouch down, get in what I call the catcher’s stance if you’ve ever played baseball. You want to cup your hands over your ears, shut your eyes, and duck your head at that point. Make yourself as low of a target as possible.”

If you had the chance to make it inside beforehand, officials say to wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder, or lightning strike, before heading back outdoors.

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