FEEDING HILLS, Mass. (WWLP) - It's Severe Weather Awareness Week , and with thunderstorm season beginning, it's important to keep lightning safety in mind.
If you can hear thunder, you're close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning.
The safest place to be in a thunderstorm is inside a sturdy building that is enclosed by walls and covered by a ceiling. Once inside during a thunderstorm, the National Weather Service recommends avoiding contact with corded phones, electrical equipment, or any type of plumbing.
You are also best staying away from windows, doorways, and porches.
Being outside, particularly in an open space like a golf course, puts you at increased risk of a lightning strike during a storm. Tony Strycharz of Oak Ridge Golf Club in Feeding Hills told 22News that they have been fortunate not to have had a human lightning strike incident.
"We've been lucky that it's never hit a person, but we have got some trees that have been hit with lightning and they've split down the middle, so we had to clean that up, which wasn't fun," Strycharz said.
At Oak Ridge, they sound a horn and check that all golfers are inside during a thunderstorm.
If you're stuck outside with no place to shelter, you want to get low to the ground and avoid being near tall objects like trees, which are more likely to be struck.
When not in a building you are most likely safe from lightning in a enclosed car. Just don't lean on the doors as the car's metal, not the rubber tires, are what protects you from the electricity.