Lightning Safety Awareness Week

This week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week; a time to review some safety tips to keep you safe during thunderstorm season.

While we continue through the summer season, thunderstorms will be more likely as the heat and humidity take over. Each year, the National Weather Service puts together a series of educational graphics and videos to inform the public on lightning dangers. In general, most people understand lightning is dangerous, but there continues to be some confusion about what to do if you’re caught in a storm.

If you’re outside, the main rule is “when thunder roars, go indoors!” If you can hear thunder, then lightning is close enough to strike you. Do not stay outside if you hear thunder. Go inside a sturdy building and wait 30 minutes after you hear the last thunder before going back out. If you’re inside, stay off corded phones, avoid plumbing by not washing your hands and not taking a shower or bath. Also, stay away from windows until the storm passes. These are the most important tips to help us all stay safe during thunderstorms.

So far in 2019, four people have been killed by lightning. Two 18 years olds in Pennsylvania while fishing, one 48 year old in Texas while camping, and one 45 year old riding a motorcycle in Florida. Lightning deaths from 1959-2017 were tabulated and ranked based off which states had the most deaths. The results are below:

Maryland is ranked #10 with 126 deaths.
Virginia is ranked #26 with 67 deaths.
Delaware is ranked #43 with 15 deaths.

For more information on lightning safety, myths and facts about lightning, frequently asked questions and more, click on the link here.

Categories: Weather Blog