This week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) wants to stress the importance of staying safe during a lightning storm.

ECCC Meteorologist Brian Proctor says that lightning is a real problem in Canada and that there's a lot of lightning activity across much of the country through much of the summer season.

Living in Manitoba, we're in one of the more active lightning areas of the country... so it's really important that people be aware of the potential for lightning and how to behave when lightning actually does start to occur.

According to Proctor, if you get caught in a thunderstorm and lightning is striking nearby, you should seek shelter immediately — like inside a house, a bar or an all-metal automobile — well away from any metal that could conduct lightning strikes down into the area. He also cautions against using a landline phone. 

If no shelter is available, you should stay away from tall objects — hydro poles, trees, wired fences, and things of that nature — and make yourself as low as possible, Proctor adds.  

Consult the Canadian Lightning Danger Map to find out the areas at greatest risk of being struck by lightning in the next 10 minutes.

For additional precautions you can take during a lightning storm, visit the Environment and Climate Change Canada website.