New Jersey sees its share of lightning, especially during the summer. In fact, insurance stats show we were 2nd in the northeast in lightning-related claims last year.

According to State Farm Insurance, the top three states in the country for lightning-related claims in 2016 were Florida, Texas and Georgia.

"When you think of Florida, it is a very outdoorsy kind of state, so there is just simply higher numbers of people who are outside on a regular basis," said Arlene Lester of State Farm.

Lester says the threat of injury or property damage from lightning is not always about a direct hit. A bolt in close proximity to you can create a surge that can damage your home, its contents —or injure you.

"If you are outside and you see that the sky is getting darker, you should begin to look for options if something does happen."

Avoid open fields and high ground in a storm and stay away from bodies of water, which can also conduct current.

Some other lightning safety tips:

— Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects.

— If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.

— If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.

— If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area. A tent offers no protection from lightning.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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