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Lightning Safety Awareness Week

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Lightning kills over 50 people in the U.S. each year and inflicts life-long debilitating injuries on hundreds more. Florida is the "Thunderstorm Capital" of the U.S., but other parts of the country have lots of lightning too, especially in the Southeast, Midwest, and the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains. However, all states have some lightning threat. Fortunately, most lightning deaths and injuries are easily avoided. Remember, NO PLACE OUTSIDE IS SAFE NEAR A

THUNDERSTORM

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 22-28, 2014. Each day focuses on a different aspect of lightning. Monday overviews general lightning safety. Tuesday features lightning science. Wednesday looks at outdoor lightning risk reduction. Thursday examines indoor lightning safety. Finally, Friday focuses on medical aspects of lightning. Learn more at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

The first step in lightning safety is to plan your outdoor activities to avoid as much of the lightning threat as you can. Watch the local weather forecasts and know your local weather patterns. The forecast from your local National Weather Service office can be found at www.nws.noaa.gov.

When outside, keep and eye on the sky. If you are planning an outdoor event, bring along a NOAA Weather Radio or AM radio or Internet Weather Alert system and check it regularly. Most people are struck by lightning before or just after a storm. Why?  Bbecause they wait too long to seek shelter or go back outside to soon. So if you hear thunder roar, go indoors--immediately. Don't go outside until 30 minutes or more after hearing the last thunder.

The safest place from lightning is inside a large, fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing, e.g., a typical house. But stay away from any conducting path to the outside: corded telephones, electrical appliances and plumbing. Don't watch lightning from doorways or windows. If you can't get to a house, a vehicle with a metal roof and metal sides is a good second choice. Roll-up the windows, lean away from the door, and don't touch any conducting path going outside, e.g., radio, keys in the ignition, steering wheel, etc. Remember, it's not the rubber tires insulating you from the ground that make vehicles safe, but rather the metal shell that conducts the electricity around you. Convertibles, motorcycles, cars made of fiberglass and plastic, and open shelled outdoor recreation vehicles aren't safe.

If you can't get to a house or vehicle, than at least avoid the most hazardous places and activities. Stay off elevated places, like mountains, buildings, high playground equipment, etc. Keep away from open areas, including sports fields and beaches. Get away from tall isolated objects like trees. Going under trees to keep dry persists in being the 2nd leading cause of lightning casualties in the U.S. Don't do it!  Stop water-related activities, including swimming, boating, and fishing. Get out of the at the first hint of lightning threat. Get off of open vehicles like cabin-less tractors, bulldozers, four-wheel recreational vehicles, etc. But remember, NO PLACE OUTSIDE IS SAFE NEAR A THUNDERSTORM. You are much safer going inside a house or car.

All lightning deaths result from cardiac arrest. If you're with a victim, call 9-1-1 to get professional medical help then apply CPR if possible. A common myth is that lightning victims are electrified and dangerous to approach. False! About 90% of lightning victims survive, so your first aid may save a life.

For more information on lightning safety, visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.


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When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Lightning kills over 50 people in the U.S. each year. But deaths are only part of the lightning story. Only about 10% of those struck are killed; 90% survive. However, many of the survivors suffer devastating life-long injuries. These injuries are primarily neurological, with a wide range of symptoms, and are very difficult to diagnose. Lightning also causes over $5 billion of economic loss each year in the U.S. from fires and other property destruction.

 Lightning strike frequencies are highest in the Southeast, Midwest, and the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains, but all states have some lightning threat. Fortunately, most lightning deaths and injuries can be easily avoided. Remember, no place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.

Public education is the key. The vast majority of lightning casualties can be easily avoided if people know what to do. Lightning Safety Awareness Week provides a good opportunity to learn about lightning safety. This year, the event is June 22-28, 2014

If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike and you should immediate seek safe shelter in a substantial building or a vehicle with a metal top and sides. Stay there until 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. If you are caught outside, don’t stay out in the open or near water, and never stand under a tall, isolated tree. If someone near you is struck by lightning and unresponsive or not breathing, immediately call 9-1-1 and administer CPR. Learn more at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov


When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Lightning kills over 50 people in the U.S. each year.  It also inflicts devastating, life-long, debilitating injuries on many more.  While lightning strike frequencies are highest in the Southeast, Midwest, and the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains, all states have some lightning threat.  Fortunately, most of these lightning deaths and injuries can be easily avoided.
 
No place outside when thunderstorms are in the area.  Use the weather forecast to plan your outdoor activities to avoid the threat.  Find the forecast for your area at www.weather.gov.  The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside a house or other fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing.  Once inside, stay away from corded telephones, electrical appliances and plumbing. Don’t watch lightning while standing near windows or in doorways.
 
If you can’t get to a house, a vehicle with a metal roof and metal sides is a good second choice.  Don't wait for rain to go inside. As soon as you hear thunder, get to a safe place. Stay inside for 30 minutes or more after hearing the last thunder. 

If you absolutely cannot get to a safe building or vehicle, at least move away from elevated places, open areas such as sports fields, beaches, golf courses, tall isolated objects like trees.  Avoid water, swimming, boating, fishing and beaches.  Do NOT go under trees to keep dry during a thunderstorm!   For more information on lightning safety, visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.


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When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 21-27, 2015.  Learn more at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

NO PLACE OUTSIDE IS SAFE NEAR A THUNDERSTORM! When you hear thunder, go inside a substantial building or a vehicle with a metal roof and metal sides and stay inside for 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. If you are caught outside, avoid open areas and never stand under a tall, isolated tree. Learn more at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.
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Lightning kills over 50 people in the US each year and injures hundreds more. Don’t be one of them. When you hear thunder, immediately seek safe shelter in a substantial building or vehicle with a metal top and sides. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors… and stay inside for 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. Learn more at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.
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Thunder is nature’s early warning sign for lightning. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike and you need to immediately need to seek safe shelter in a substantial building or a vehicle with a metal top and side. Stay inside 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder. Learn more at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.
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When you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike:

  • Seek shelter immediately in a substantial building but stay away from corded telephones, electrical appliances, and plumbing.
  • The second safest place is a vehicle with a metal roof and metal sides.
  • If you are caught outside, stay away from open areas and water. Never stand under a tall, isolated tree.
  • Lightning victims are safe to touch. If someone is unresponsive or not breathing, immediately call 9-1-1 and do CPR.

 


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