On June 27, Sidney, Montana experienced a storm that brought in a lightning storm that left quite an impression on the Sidney Country Club golf course at hole #5!

The photos the golf course shared on facebook (see below), speak a thousand words when it comes to the safety threat during such a storm.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a great motto to follow: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!"  Why? Because the dangers of such a storm are real.  Every year in the United States, there are an average of 30 deaths due to lightning strikes.  Florida and Tennessee have the most lightning related deaths and injuries.  It's true that the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are less than 1 in 1,000,000 but of course you can increase your chances of being struck if you don't follow some simple safety rules from the CDC:

Safety precautions outdoors:

  • If the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity.
    Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors. Find a safe, enclosed shelter.
    Don’t forget the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
  • If no shelter is available, crouch low, with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away.
  • Stay away from concrete floors or walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.Although you should move into a non-concrete structure if possible, being indoors does not automatically protect you from lightning. In fact, about one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors.

Safety precautions indoors

  • Avoid water during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
    Avoid electronic equipment of all types. Lightning can travel through electrical systems and radio and television reception systems.
  • Avoid corded phones. However, cordless or cellular phones are safe to use during a storm.
  • Avoid concrete floors and walls.
Credit: Sidney Country Club, facebook