Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 20-26

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

In a coordinated effort with the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, and in participation with national efforts, Governor Ted Strickland recognizes June 20-26 as “Lightning Safety Awareness Week,” and encourages all Ohioans to practice lightning safety and preparedness during this week and throughout the summer.

Lightning is one of nature’s most dangerous weather phenomena. In 2009, the NWS reported 34 fatalities caused by lightning strikes in the United States. Ohio had no lightning-caused fatalities for the year.
To date, five deaths have been caused by lightning strikes – including an Ohio man on May 31, 2010.

During National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, everyone is encouraged to learn more about lightning safety and preparedness tips, and know how to protect themselves during thunder and lightning storms. Especially during spring and summer months, have a severe weather safety plan. Check weather forecasts daily and plan outdoor activities accordingly. Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors.

The National Weather Service and Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness offer the following lightning safety tips:

Watch for developing thunderstorms – Thunderstorms are most likely to develop on spring or summer days, but can occur during any season. Be alert of weather forecasts. Listen to weather reports on your local radio or television stations. Invest in a NOAA Weather Radio that will sound an alert when storm watches or warnings are in or near your area.

Seek shelter before an approaching thunderstorm – Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from where it is raining. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. Seek shelter immediately.

Minimize the risk of being struck during outdoor activities – Most lightning strikes occur during the summer when people are participating in outdoor water or organized sporting events. If caught outdoors during a thunder and lightning storm, try to find shelter indoors. A house or other substantial building offers the best protection; small structures do little, if anything as protection from lightning.

For additional information on lightning safety, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov or the National Weather Service site: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

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