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Staying safe during a lightning storm

News 19 spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Miller about safety during severe weather.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lightning storms are a fact of life in the South, particularly in the summer when we get those pop up thunderstorms. We wanted to make sure that you know a few tips to keep you safe.

So News 19 reached out to Columbia National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Miller, to ask how to keep safe during severe weather like lightning.

He says it's important to stay inside.

"You're at your most vulnerable to lightning when you're outside," says Miller. "Whether it's out on a lake, out on a beach, golf course, anywhere outside, you're going to be vulnerable to lightning."

So he says to seek shelter at the first sign of thunder or lightning.

"Sometimes people think that being under a picnic shelter will protect them from lightning, but that is not the case, or being under a tree is a vulnerable place to be as well," says Miller. "If lightning strikes the tree, it can spread out and hurt you.

While in your home, Miller explains that you should also unplug any small electronic devices.

"Avoid talking on the phone, avoid plumbing, any kind of shower or sinks, avoid any handheld electronic devices, like blow driers and things."

Small electronics could spark if your home is struck by lightning.

For more on the National Weather Service in Columbia, SC, check out a link to their website here.

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