With July approaching, the month when summer storms are most-oft seen rolling across the prairies, Environment and Climate Change Canada is reminding residents to be mindful of staying safe when lightning is around. Each year, lightning is responsible for an estimated ten deaths across the country, and nearly 165 injuries.

“I think in Saskatchewan, we love our thunderstorms, we love watching lightning, and it’s great to do that, you just have to do that safely,” explained Terri Lang, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Each year, the safety campaign for lightning involves the phrase “When It Roars, Head Indoors”. It is used as there is no real safe place outdoors during a thunderstorm. It is recommended to seek shelter, and remain there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of lightning is heard.

“One-third of deaths and injuries occur before the storm hits, and one third occur after the storm hits, so only one third occur when it’s actually raining,” Lang explained. 

If you are caught outdoors, it is recommended to not stand near any tall objects or anything made of metal, and avoid open water. If you are caught in a boat on the water, quickly get to shore and take shelter. 

Environment Canada’s Lightning Safety page includes many tips for staying safe during a thunderstorm. It also includes a lightning danger map.