Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Greer, SC

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
920 AM EDT THU JUN 26 2014

...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...

LIGHTNING SAFETY AND SPORTS ACTIVITIES

WHETHER YOU`RE OUT KICKING A BALL AROUND WITH A FRIEND, OR AT A MAJOR
SPORTS EVENT, YOU SHOULD BE PREPARED TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE IN
CASE A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS. SINCE 2006, SPORTS ACTIVITIES
(GOLF, SOCCER, RUNNING, BASEBALL, FOOTBALL) CONTRIBUTED TO 29
LIGHTNING DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES. IN MANY CASES, THOSE
INVOLVED IN THE ACTIVITIES FAILED TO REALIZE THE DEVELOPING
DANGER.

FOR ANYONE OUTSIDE, WHETHER YOU`RE INVOLVED IN SPORTS OR SOME OTHER
ACTIVITY, KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY AND HEAD TO SAFETY AT THE FIRST
SIGN OF A DEVELOPING OR APPROACHING STORM. IF YOU HEAR THUNDER,
YOU`RE ALREADY IN DANGER AND SHOULD HEAD INSIDE A SUBSTANTIAL
BUILDING OR HARD-TOPPED VEHICLE IMMEDIATELY.

OFFICIALS IN CHARGE OF ORGANIZED SPORTS SHOULD HAVE A LIGHTNING
SAFETY PLAN, AND THOSE INVOLVED IN THE SPORT (AND THEIR PARENTS)
SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE PLAN AND KNOW WHAT TO DO. THE PLAN SHOULD
INCLUDE WHERE THE PARTICIPANTS AND SPECTATORS GO FOR SAFETY, WHEN
THE EVENT SHOULD BE STOPPED, WHEN THE EVENT SHOULD BE RESUMED, AND
WHO IS IN CHARGE OF MAKING WEATHER-RELATED SAFETY DECISIONS. IT`S
ALSO IMPORTANT TO DESIGNATE A PERSON TO MONITOR CONDITIONS AND TO
KEEP THOSE IN CHARGE INFORMED OF WEATHER-RELATED THREATS. THE PLAN
SHOULD ALSO ACCOUNT FOR THE TIME REQUIRED TO GET EVERYONE TO
SAFETY.

WHETHER YOU`RE OUT FOR A RUN, WATCHING YOUR CHILD`S GAME, OR
ATTENDING A MAJOR SPORTS EVENT, REMEMBER THAT THERE`S NO SAFE
PLACE OUTSIDE IN A THUNDERSTORM. WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS!

QUESTION OF THE DAY...ARE THERE MORE GOLFERS KILLED BY LIGHTNING
THAN BY ANY OTHER ACTIVITY?

WHILE GOLFING IS VERY DANGEROUS WHEN A THUNDERSTORM IS IN THE AREA,
DURING THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, SOCCER HAS CONTRIBUTED TO MORE
SPORTS-RELATED LIGHTNING FATALITIES THAN GOLF. DURING THAT TIME,
GOLF LED TO 8 FATALITIES. THIS COMPARES WITH 12 FOR SOCCER, 5 FOR
RUNNING, 3 FOR BASEBALL, AND 1 FOR FOOTBALL.

FOR THOSE WHO WORK OUTSIDE DURING THE SUMMER, LIGHTNING IS A
POTENTIALLY DEADLY THREAT. WHILE SUMMER IS A GOOD TIME TO
COMPLETE OUTSIDE WORK, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO WORK IN A SAFE
ENVIRONMENT. ANY TIME A THUNDERSTORM IS IN THE AREA, NO PLACE
OUTSIDE IS SAFE. BETWEEN 2006 AND 2013, 38 PEOPLE WERE STRUCK AND
KILLED BY LIGHTNING IN THE UNITED STATES WHILE AT WORK. ABOUT TWO-
THIRDS OF THOSE KILLED WERE FARMERS, RANCHERS, ROOFERS, LAWN CARE
WORKERS, OR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS. MANY OF THOSE KILLED WERE
SEEKING SHELTER AT THE TIME OF THE DEADLY STRIKE, BUT JUST HADN`T
STARTED SOON ENOUGH.

MANY WORK ACTIVITIES REQUIRE EXTRA TIME TO SHUT DOWN.  IN THESE
CASES, IT IS IMPORTANT TO MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS SO THAT THE
WORK ACTIVITIES CAN END AND WORKERS CAN GET TO A SAFE PLACE BEFORE
THE LIGHTNING THREAT ARRIVES. SIMILAR TO ALL OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES,
WORKERS NEED TO STOP WHAT THEY ARE DOING IMMEDIATELY AND GET TO A
SAFE PLACE IF THEY HEAR THUNDER. WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS!

WHAT DO I DO IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING?

LIGHTNING VICTIMS DO NOT CARRY AN ELECTRICAL CHARGE, ARE SAFE
TO TOUCH, AND MAY NEED IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION. CARDIAC
ARREST IS THE IMMEDIATE CAUSE OF DEATH FOR THOSE WHO DIE. SOME
DEATHS CAN BE PREVENTED WITH PROPER FIRST AID. CALL 911 AND THEN
GIVE FIRST AID. CPR AND USE OF AN AED (AUTOMATIC EXTERNAL
DEFIBRILLATOR) MAY BE NEEDED.

LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME

ALTHOUGH HOUSES AND OTHER SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING OFFER THE BEST
PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING, EACH YEAR MANY HOMES ACROSS THE UNITED
STATES ARE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. IN FACT, ON AVERAGE, LIGHTNING
CAUSES ABOUT 4400 HOUSE FIRES AND 1800 OTHER STRUCTURAL FIRES EACH
YEAR, SOME OF WHICH ARE DEADLY. ALL TOTALED, LIGHTNING CAUSES
NEARLY $1 BILLION IN DAMAGES EACH YEAR.

THERE ARE THREE MAIN WAYS LIGHTNING ENTERS HOMES AND BUILDINGS:
(1) A DIRECT STRIKE, (2) THROUGH WIRES OR PIPES THAT EXTEND
OUTSIDE THE STRUCTURE, AND (3) THROUGH THE GROUND. REGARDLESS OF
THE METHOD OF ENTRANCE, ONCE IN A STRUCTURE, THE LIGHTNING CAN
TRAVEL THROUGH THE ELECTRICAL AND PHONE WIRES, THE PLUMBING,
AND/OR RADIO AND TELEVISION RECEPTION SYSTEMS.

INDOOR SAFETY DEPENDS ON AVOIDING CONTACT WITH ITEMS THAT COULD CONDUCT
LIGHTNING WITHIN THE HOME. HERE ARE SOME INDOOR SAFETY TIPS TO
FOLLOW WHEN A THUNDERSTORM IS IN THE AREA.

  1. DON`T TOUCH ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT OR CORDS.  IF YOU PLAN TO
     UNPLUG ANY ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT, DO SO WELL BEFORE THE
     STORM ARRIVES.
  2. STAY OFF CORDED PHONES.
  3. AVOID CONTACT WITH PLUMBING.  DO NOT WASH YOUR HANDS, TAKE A
     SHOWER, WASH DISHES, OR DO LAUNDRY.
  4. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND DOORS, AND STAY OFF PORCHES.

IN CASE YOUR HOME IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING:

  * EVACUATE YOUR HOME IMMEDIATELY IF YOU SMELL SMOKE AND CALL
    911.
  * CALL YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT AND, IF POSSIBLE, HAVE
    THEM CHECK FOR HOT SPOTS IN YOUR WALLS WITH THERMAL
    IMAGING EQUIPMENT.
  * MAKE SURE ALL SMOKE DETECTORS ARE POWERED AND
    OPERATING PROPERLY.
  * IF NEEDED, HAVE A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN CHECK THE WIRING IN
    YOUR HOME

WHAT ARE LIGHTNING RODS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

LIGHTNING RODS PROTECT A HOME FROM A DIRECT LIGHTNING STRIKE,
BUT THEY DO NOT PREVENT A HOME FROM BEING STRUCK. THEY ARE
DESIGNED TO INTERCEPT LIGHTNING, TO PROVIDE A CONDUCTIVE PATH FOR
THE HARMFUL ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE TO FOLLOW, AND TO DISPERSE THE
ENERGY SAFELY INTO THE GROUND. WHILE LIGHTNING RODS HELP PROTECT A
STRUCTURE FROM A DIRECT LIGHTNING STRIKE, A COMPLETE LIGHTNING
PROTECTION SYSTEM IS NEEDED TO HELP PREVENT HARMFUL ELECTRICAL
SURGES AND POSSIBLE FIRES CAUSED BY LIGHTNING ENTERING A STRUCTURE
VIA WIRES AND PIPES. LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS SHOULD BE
PURCHASED FROM AND INSTALLED BY A CERTIFIED LIGHTNING PROTECTION
SPECIALIST.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING OR LIGHTNING SAFETY,
VISIT NOAA`S LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:

HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV

$$


NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
GREENVILLE SPARTANBURG SC

TONY STUREY















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