Last Saturday afternoon during the lunch hour we had another thunderstorm. It’s seems like we have had a lot this spring. But in Livingston, the whole town shook when a bolt hit a big tree on Callender Street. The bark on the tree exploded in front of Karl Biastoch house, who was inside minding his own business watching TV when mother nature took it out on his tree in the front yard and blew out his living room windows.

Luckily, Karl wasn’t hit with any glass because his curtains were closed and they absorbed most of the blast.

But it made me wonder: Are we ever safe from lightning?

The NOAA web site says lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year.

Lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year, and hundreds more are severely injured.

So here are some things to keep in mind:

- NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.

- 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.

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.)