Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Chicago, IL

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
0900 AM CDT MON JUN 23 2014

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JUNE 22ND
THROUGH 28TH...LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.  THIS IS THE FIRST
IN A SERIES OF FIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS TO BE ISSUED BY
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN CHICAGO...IL CONTAINING
INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY.

LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY AND INTRODUCTION

IN THE UNITED STATES...THERE ARE BETWEEN 20 AND 25 MILLION
CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING FLASHES EACH YEAR.  WHILE LIGHTNING CAN
BE FASCINATING TO WATCH...IT IS ALSO EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.  EACH
ONE OF THOSE 25 MILLION FLASHES IS A POTENTIAL KILLER.  BASED ON
DATA FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS (1984 TO 2013)...LIGHTNING HAS KILLED
MORE THAN 1500 PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES...AN AVERAGE OF 51 PEOPLE
PER YEAR BASED ON DOCUMENTED CASES.  IN ADDITION...DURING THIS SAME
PERIOD...LIGHTNING HAS INJURED AN ESTIMATED 15000 PEOPLE...SOME LEFT
WITH LIFE-LONG NEUROLOGICAL DAMAGE.

IN ADDITION TO THE DEATHS AND INJURIES...LIGHTNING CAUSES
CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE ACROSS THE NATION.  EACH YEAR...LIGHTNING IS THE
CAUSE OF ABOUT 25000 FIRES...INCLUDING ABOUT 4400 HOUSE FIRES...1800
OTHER STRUCTURAL FIRES...AND NUMEROUS FOREST FIRES.  THOSE FIRES ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR AN ADDITIONAL ESTIMATED 12 DEATHS PER YEAR.  ALL
TOTALED...LIGHTNING CAUSES NEARLY 1 BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES EACH
YEAR.

DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...WE WILL PROVIDE ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION
ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY.  WE WILL COVER WHAT YOU CAN DO TO
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS DANGEROUS KILLER.  MOST IMPORTANTLY...WE
WANT YOU TO REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO SAFE PLACE OUTSIDE DURING A
THUNDERSTORM.  WHEN THUNDER ROARS...GO INDOORS!

LIGHTNING FACT FOR TODAY:

THE BEST PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING IS A SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING.  IF
YOU CANNOT GET INSIDE A SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING...A HARD-TOPPED METAL
VEHICLE WILL PROTECT YOU FROM LIGHTNING. IF THE VEHICLE IS
STRUCK...THE LIGHTNING WILL FOLLOW THE OUTER METAL SHELL OF THE
VEHICLE TO THE GROUND.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE
FULLY INSIDE THE VEHICLE WITH THE WINDOWS ROLLED UP. NOTE THAT THE
RUBBER TIRES DO NOT PREVENT THE VEHICLE FROM BEING STRUCK...NOR DO
THEY PROVIDE ANY PROTECTION.


HERE IS A LIST OF TOPICS WE WILL COVER LATER THIS WEEK:

TUESDAY - LIGHTNINGS MOST DEADLY ACTIVITIES
WEDNESDAY - LIGHTNING SAFETY AND SPORTS ACTIVITIES
THURSDAY - LIGHTNING SAFETY AT WORK
FRIDAY - LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING OR LIGHTNING SAFETY...
VISIT NOAAS LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:

     HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV

$$







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