RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) wants to give Virginians a heads-up on how to stay safe the next time a thunderstorm strikes.

According to the VDEM, lightning is a leading cause of injury and death for victims of weather-related incidents. People who get struck by lightning often say they experience a number of long-term and debilitating symptoms, a release from the Department read.

Below, a quick guide from the VDEM on the precautions to take when a thunderstorm roars into town.

  • Go indoors – A sturdy building is the safest place to be during a thunderstorm or when you hear thunder and see lightning.
  • Listen to weather reports and warnings – Be ready to change plans to take shelter.
  • Avoid running water or using landline phones when taking shelter – Electricity can travel through plumbing and phone lines.
  • Protect your property – Unplug appliances and other electric devices and secure outdoor furniture.
  • Avoid bodies of water – Do not go swimming, boating, fishing or do any other type of aquatic activity.
  • Take cover in a vehicle with metal top and sides – But, do not touch any metal.
  • Avoid flooded roadways – according the the VDEM, just six inches of fast-moving water can knock a person down, and one foot of moving water can sweep away a vehicle.

Check StormTracker8 for the latest weather updates in Central Virginia.

For more information on thunderstorms and safety tips, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website.