It looks cool but it’s less pleasant to get hit by it. According to Pepco lightning strikes kill 400 people in the US every year – most of them in June, July, and August. So they’ve offered up this selection of tips for how to stay safer in a storm.
They don’t offer any tips for keeping your stuff safe, so let me drop some knowledge on you here: there is no consumer protection gadget out there that will protect your computer/DVD/tv/whatever safe against a close lightning strike. So-called “surge protectors” are typically one-use components (an MOV, to be precise) that may marginally protect against dirty power – but probably not. Lightning travels through the air so I assure you: it will have no problem jumping a nanometer distance or even across a power switch on a strip if the strike was close enough.
For 100% protection in an ugly storm, unplug.
[edit: accidentally left in ‘kill’ from a previous edit – Pepco claims approximately 60 fatalities out of those 400 who are struck]