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Rossen Reports update: How to stay safe from lightning

by Jeff Rossen and Josh Davis / / Source: TODAY

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We are right in the middle of the summer storm season and 12 people have died this year due to lightning strikes across the country, according to the National Weather Service. Would you know what to do if you get caught in a dangerous storm? TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen shares tips on how to stay safe.

For more important safety information, pre-order Jeff Rossen's new book, "Rossen to the Rescue" here.

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In 2014, TODAY got rare access inside of a high-voltage lab run by the U.S. government. The lab actually simulates lightning as a way to study the phenomenon and teach life-saving lessons.

Jeff Rossen visits the BPA Lab in Vancouver, Washington, which simulates lightning.TODAY

So how should you protect yourself? At the first clap of thunder, seek shelter. Also, stay inside for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder. Don't stand under trees as that could increase your risk of being struck. Instead, move to the lowest elevation possible and stay low.

If you can't seek shelter, find a car. Get inside the car during a lightning storm because the metal that surrounds you will actually absorb the energy. Similar to the way lightning strikes an airplane, the metal around you absorbs the strike and will keep you safe.

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