June 22-28 is Lightning Awareness Week, and Entergy Texas provides advice to help reduce being struck by lightning during the summer months, when the largest number of lightning deaths happen.

Southeast Texas is already beginning to experience afternoon thunderstorms caused by daytime heating, meaning lightning strikes are a very real danger, said Entergy’s Debi Derrick.

According to the National Weather Service, 62 people are killed each year by lightning in the United States. Already in 2008, eight people have died due to lightning strikes. In 2007, 46 people were struck and killed by lightning.

 “Whenever you hear thunder or see lightning, you can be at risk for a lightning strike,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director.

“At Entergy Texas we monitor the weather every hour of every day. Lightning is the number one cause of power failures, so we appreciate its destructive power. We urge our customers to avoid being outside during a lightning storm.”

To reduce the risk associated with lightning, here are some safety tips:
• Move indoors or into a hard-top vehicle. Do not use a carport, an open garage or covered patio.
• Lightning seeks the tallest objects. Don’t go near trees.
• Get out of the water.
• Stay away from objects that can conduct electricity, such as golf clubs, fishing poles, tennis rackets, umbrellas and chain-link fences.
• Don’t use the phone or any appliance with a cord that is connected to an electric outlet.
• Don’t take a shower or bathe during a lightning storm.
• Stay away from windows and porches.
For more information on lightning, go to www.srh.noaa.gov/lzk/html/ltgsafety.htm.