NWS highlights lighting dangers with Lighting Safety Awareness Week

Lightning Awareness Week

SAN ANGELO– The National Weather Service office in San Angelo is currently promoting the Lightning Safety Awareness Week, being held from June 22-28 to raise awareness on the dangers of lightning prior to Independence Day.

From 2006 through 2013, 261 people were struck and killed by lightning in the United States. Almost two thirds of the deaths occurred to people who had been enjoying outdoor leisure activities. The common belief that golfers are responsible for the greatest number of lightning deaths was shown to be a myth.

Monday: Lightning and Lightning Safety: An Introduction

It’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Learn how to be a force of nature this week.

No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area! Watch the clouds and don’t get electrocuted by the first strike! It could be deadly!

Being prepared to act quickly when thunderstorms threaten can save lives. Make sure you’re ready.

Tuesday: Lightning's Most Deadly Activities

From 2006 to 2013, there were a total of 30 fishing deaths, 16 camping deaths, and 14 boating deaths, and 13 beach deaths. Of the sports activities, soccer saw the greatest number of deaths with 12, as compared to golf with eight. Around the home, yard work (including mowing the lawn) accounted for 12 fatalities. For work-related activities, ranching/farming topped the list with 14 deaths.

Males accounted for 81 percent of all fatalities, and more than 90 percent of the deaths in the fishing and sports categories. Females had comparatively fewer deaths than men in every category, with their highest percentages in the boating-related activities (35 percent) and routine daily/weekly activities (36 percent).

Wednesday: Lightning Safety and Sports Activities

Based on the media reports of the fatal incidents, many victims were either headed to safety at the time of the fatal strike or were just steps away from safety.

The only completely safe action when you’re outside during a thunderstorm is to get inside a safe building or vehicle.

The National Weather Service encourages recreational facilities to adopt comprehensive lightning protection strategies to protect patrons and employees. A cornerstone of the NWS lightning safety campaign is the NWS Lightning Safety Toolkit. The Toolkit outlines the steps a recreational facility needs to take to earn recognition from the National Weather Service for their lightning safety program. Check it out at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/resources/large_venue.pdf

Be a force of nature and stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.

Thursday: Lightning Safety at Work

Have a lightning safety plan and cancel or postpone activities early if thunderstorms are expected.

Friday: Lightning Safety Around the Home

Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.

Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.