Lightning is a danger, even if a storm is miles away

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We all know weather can make for a dangerous situation, especially when it comes to lightning.

Even if a storm is miles away, you can still get struck by lightning.

Kristin Pugh found out the hard way.

Last summer she was dog sitting in Brown Summit and went under the deck to put the leash on the dog.

"It was probably a split second right when the lightning struck it," she said.

Pugh, her dog and her friend all felt the jolt.

"I just saw a bright light coming towards us. I just basically froze in shock."

She remembers earlier thinking they were safe because the storm wasn't close to them.

Pugh and her friend were taken to the hospital, and luckily had no permanent damage.

"The storm was going away, so we didn't think anything of it because the thunder was in the distance so i was like there shouldn't be any lightning," Pugh said.

Experts say that mindset is the biggest misconception.

"If you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lighting. It sounds like a very strange concept, but it's very true," said Zack Smith with Guilford County Emergency Services.

The National Weather Service ranks North Carolina third nationwide in lightning fatalities.

Smith says the majority of the time people struck are those who stay outdoors during storms, usually golfing or fishing.

"That's the mentality of people that they cannot get struck by lighting but it only takes once," Smith said.

Once was enough for Pugh.

"Oh I still have that mentality it can't happen again," she said.

But, she doesn't chance that second strike.

"Whenever there is thunder, I usually go inside," she said.

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