SUMMERTIME IS PEAK TIME FOR THUNDER AND LIGHTNING STORMS

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 23-29

COLUMBUS, OH – In an annual coordinated effort with the National Weather Service, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness promotes June 23-29 as Lightning Safety Awareness Week and encourages all Ohioans to know what to do before, during and after thunderstorms, and to practice severe weather safety and preparedness throughout the summer.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), as of June 9, there had been seven lightning fatalities this year: two in Florida; two in Illinois; and one each in Louisiana, Missouri and Texas. All were outside; four were in or near bodies of water. A total of 28 people in 17 states died of lightning strikes in 2012, including an Ohio man who was doing yard work at the time.

Although the number of lightning fatalities continues to decrease over the years, lightning strikes continue to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. It is important to note that lightning injures more people than it kills. The best protection from lightning is to avoid the threat.

Performing this simple measure can dramatically reduce the chance of severe injury or death during a storm: When thunder roars, go indoors! Stop outdoor activities and seek shelter immediately.

Summertime is peak season for thunderstorm activity in Ohio. Preparedness for thunderstorms – or any severe weather incident – is key.
Be Informed. Know what to do before, during and after severe weather. For thunder and lightning safety tips, click on: http://www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning

Make a Plan. Develop a disaster plan to respond to all hazards, including thunderstorms and lightning. Sign up for First Aid or CPR courses. Practice disaster plans by conducting safety drills.

Build a Kit. Organize or restock emergency supply kits for the home and vehicle to be prepared for any incident.

The NWS and Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness also suggest the following lightning safety measures:

Watch for developing thunderstorms – Thunderstorms are most likely to develop on spring or summer days, but can also occur at night and during any season. Listen to local weather reports on radio or television stations. Know the difference between storm watches and warnings. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert that notifies when hazardous weather is in or near your area

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