Des Moines, Iowa – The National Weather Service and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management have designated this week as Iowa Lightning Awareness Week. N-W-S Meteorologist Kelsey Angle says lightning is one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States.
A 35-year-old man died near Moscow, Iowa after he was struck by lightning while rounding up cattle on his horse. A 42-year-old woman died near Hiawatha after being struck by lightning while camping. Avoiding a lightning strike is as simple as taking shelter when a storm approaches.
If you are out in the open and don’t have a shelter, you can get in a car.
Angle says it’s important to have a spotter paying attention to the weather conditions.
He says players and fans at sports activities out on open fields are particularly vulnerable.
There are apps for phones that track lightning.
A common myth is that lightning victims are electrified and dangerous to approach. This is not true as about 90 percent of lightning victims survive and providing first aid could save a life. For more information, go to: www.weather.gov/lightning or www.beready.iowa.gov.