Lightning Safety Reminder!

As we enter into the summer season, here are a few facts and lightning safety tips to remember:

LIGHTNING SAFETY FACTS

Sunshine Safety Council, Inc./ NOAA

Florida is the “Lightning Capital of the U.S.”- highest casualties among all 50 states

  • Central Florida: From Tampa across to Titusville, is considered “Lightning Alley.”
  • Lightning is the No. 1 weather killer in Florida (higher rate than hurricanes, tornadoes and drownings combined).
  • June, July, August and September are the highest strike months, July and August being the worst.
  • 10 percent of people struck by lightning are killed, while 70 percent suffer severe medical problems.

Campus Lightning Detector System: Stetson has lightning detection equipment in four areas of the DeLand campus. The Lightning Siren System will issue a long siren blast to indicate lightning is within 2.5 miles of campus, and the light on the pole will flash.  Three short blasts will indicate the all-clear.

The National Weather Service offers these important Lightning Safety Tips:

  • Use the “30 -30” rule:  If the time between lightning and thunder is 30 seconds or less, seek proper shelter.  Wait at least 30 minutes from last lightning/thunder before leaving the shelter.
  • The best shelter is a fully enclosed, substantially constructed building. Open pavilions or carports are not safe.
  • Vehicles with metal sides and roofs also provide adequate shelter.  Roll windows up and do not touch metal surfaces. Golf carts are not considered safe.
  • Avoid corded telephones, electrical appliances, power tools, metal doors or window frames, and plumbing fixtures (i.e. tubs/showers) as lightning can travel through wires and metal pipes.
  • Do not lean against vehicles or fences or use motorcycles or bicycles during a lightning storm.
  • The most dangerous places to be are: under trees, in or near water (lakes, docks), open fields, beaches, golf courses, sports fields, and around tall objects or metal objects.
  • If caught outdoors, run to the nearest safe shelter – do not lie down on the ground.
  • Don’t assume if you don’t see lightning, you’re safe.  Lightning can strike from storms that are miles away.  If you can hear thunder, take precautions. “If you hear it –  fear it!”

For more information on lightning go to: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/?n=lightning  (click “Safety” tab)

Total number of lightning casualties in Florida between 1959 and 2015:

  • Killed: 482 – an average of nine per year
  • Injured: 1,788 – an average of 37 per year

Top 10 states with most lightning casualties (deaths plus injuries), 1959 – 2004:

  1. Florida: 2,117
  2. North Carolina: 818
  3. Michigan: 815
  4. Pennsylvania: 760
  5. New York: 749
  6. Texas: 716
  7. Ohio: 671
  8. Colorado: 702
  9. Georgia: 586
  10. Tennessee: 554
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