EDISON - There have already been 14 deaths from lightning strikes this year nationwide, one of them in Monmouth County.

The slain woman was walking on a sea wall in Monmouth Beach earlier this month when lightning struck. Another man was struck in Sandy Hook in June and survived. This week, lightning damage in Readington started a fire at a store in Union City.

Mat Gerbush, the assistant state climatologist, says the amount of lightning New Jersey has seen is quite normal for the summer.

Gerbush says to seek shelter inside a building that has plumbing or electric when caught in a storm. It's also important to stay away from doors and windows, and not to touch water or electrical appliances that require cords.

Gerbush says a car makes a fine shelter as well because of its metal frame.

Seeking shelter under a porch, covered picnic table or shed are poor choices during an electrical storm.