"What is the likelihood that I will be struck by lightning?" UAB Emergency Management is asked this question often.
The fact is that the annual per capita strike rate in the United States is around 1 in 600,000, and there are 7.7 casualties per million people per 100 million flashes. The odds are not great! However, this can vary depending on where you are, what the climate is like, and what your exposure happens to be. In Alabama, thunderstorms are more common than in areas along the Pacific coast so the chances of being struck are greater here than there.
Lightning does not make a thunderstorm severe. By definition, every thunderstorm has lightning in it. Lightning is one of the most dangerous aspects of a thunderstorm and can strike up to 10 miles away from the main area of the storm. If you can hear the thunder you are at risk of being struck by lightning. Because of this the National Weather Service has adopted the motto, "when thunder roars, go indoors". Remember to stay there for at least 30 after the last clap of thunder.
The National Weather Service provides educational information for each day of Lightening Safety Awareness Week:
The following video provides an excellent source of information.
Lightning Safety Awareness Week