YUMA, Ariz. – When thunder roars go indoors. that’s what first responders in Yuma are urging residents to do to save lives. Mike Erfert of the Yuma Fire Department says, “Upwards of 400 people a year are struck by lightning 50 to 60 of them die” Lightning strikes have killed almost 300 people in the u.s. in the last decade alone. In Arizona 2 people have already died so far this year, according to the National Weather Service.
The Yuma Fire Department says this is the most active time of year as Erfert explains, “We do have thunder storms with Monsoon season thunderstorms are very likely in our area”. Thursday rural-metro responded to the scene of lightning striking a man in Yuma, who needed to be taken to the hospital. He survived but his condition is unknown.
Rural Metro says there are a few ways to lower your chances of being struck by lightning as Captain Jeff Woodruff explains, “Don’t be in an open area any time there’s a thunderstorm lightning can travel up to ten miles you don’t want to be by anything that will attract a lightning strike like a flag pole”. A common belief is that you are safe in your car but that unfortunately is not true according to Woodruff, “If you’re going to stay in your car don’t touch any metal, dont touch the windows put your hands in your lap”
If lightning does strike you and you remain conscious get help immediately… “Call 911 you might not think anything is injured but you should be checked out just in case”