Our area has experienced some impressive thunder and lightning activity recently, ironically June 24th –June 30th is Lightning Safety Awareness Week-
It’s seems fitting to review some Lightning Safety facts and tips with our blog followers.
WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS!…. This is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’ (NOAA) & National Weather Services Campaign slogan.
According to their website on lightning safety www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov “summer is the peak season for one of the deadliest weather phenomena- lightning.” There are an average of 54 reported people killed by lightning each year and hundreds of permanent injuries. Injuries include long term debilitating symptoms such as memory loss, chronic pain, joint stiffness and pain, and muscle spasms just to name a few.
Some of the more important Tips taken from the NOAA website include:
Things you need to know
- NO Place OUTSIDE is safe when thunderstorms are in the area
- If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you- IMMEDIATELY move to safe shelter
- Safe Shelter is a substantial building or inside an enclosed, metal topped vehicle
- Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder
Indoor Lightning Safety Tips
- Stay off corded phones, computers & other electrical equipment
- Avoid plumbing including sinks, baths & faucets
- Stay away from windows & doors and stay off porches
- Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls
LAST RESORT Risk Reduction Tips for when you absolutely cannot make it indoors or to a car
- Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills and mountain ridges
- NEVER lie flat on the ground
- NEVER use a cliff or rock overhang for shelter
- IMMEDIATELY get away from ponds, lakes & other bodies of water
- Stay away from objects that conduct electricity such as barbed wire fences and power lines
We have all heard the myths associated with lighting such as lightning never strikes the same place twice or rubber tires on a car protect you from lighting- both these perceptions are FALSE. Surprised? So was I. For more Myths & Truths about lighting visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/myths.htm
How Far Away Is The Lightning?…… The sound of thunder travels about a mile every 5 seconds. Count the seconds between the flash of lightning and crack of thunder and divide by 5- to get the number of miles away. (10 seconds=2 miles)
For those of you who have employees with outdoor exposure it may be helpful to invite the National Weather Service to provide a free lightning safety talk to your employees or even sports team managers & coaches.
I’ve enjoyed discovering some facts about Lightning Safety and the serious dangers associated with Lightning; however, as awesome as it is to gaze at on a warm summer night, make sure to keep your distance!