Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Newport/Morehead, NC
NOUS42 KMHX 091327
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC
827 AM EST Thu Mar 9 2017
...SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN NORTH CAROLINA IS MARCH
5TH THROUGH 11TH, 2017...
Today`s Topic: lightning safety.
Each year in the United States, more than 400 people are struck by
lightning. On average, between 55 and 60 people are killed;
hundreds of others suffer permanent neurological disabilities.
Most of these tragedies can be avoided with a few simple
precautions. When thunderstorms threaten, get to a safe place.
Lightning safety is an inconvenience that can save your life.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects
information on weather-related deaths to learn how to prevent these
tragedies. Many lightning victims say they were "caught" outside in
the storm and couldn`t get to a safe place. With proper planning,
these tragedies could have been prevented. Other victims waited too
long before seeking shelter. By heading to a safe place 5 to 10
minutes sooner, they could have avoided being struck by lightning.
Some people were struck because they went back outside too soon.
Stay inside a safe building or vehicle for at least 30 minutes after
you hear the last thunder clap. Finally, some victims were struck
inside homes or buildings while they were using electrical equipment
or corded phones. Others were in contact with plumbing, a metal
door or a window frame. Avoid contact with these electrical
conductors when a thunderstorm is nearby.
All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Lightning
often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far
as 10 miles from any rainfall. Many lightning deaths occur ahead of
storms or after storms have seemingly passed. Keep this simple fact
in mind: if you can hear thunder, you are in danger. Also, don`t
be fooled by blue skies. There is no such thing as
"heat lightning." All lightning comes as a result of a thunderstorm,
and if you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to pose an immediate
threat to you.
The following lightning safety tips could one day save your life:
* NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!
* If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
* When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter. A safe
shelter is an enclosed substantial building with electricity or
plumbing, such as a home, office building, school, restaurant,
or a store. Sheds, tents, picnic pavilions, porches, and
ball-field dugouts do not offer any lightning protection
whatsoever and may actually increase your danger of being
* If no substantial building is available for shelter, enclosed
metal-topped vehicles offer protection from lightning, but make
sure the windows are in the up position.
* Stay in your safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the
last sound of thunder.
* When indoors, stay off corded phones, computers and other
electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with
electricity. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. Do not
lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.
* If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby,
the following actions may reduce your risk:
* Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain
ridges or peaks.
* Never lie flat on the ground.
* Never shelter under an isolated tree.
* Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
* Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other
bodies of water.
* Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire
fences, power lines, windmills, etc.).
The most effective lightning safety action can be found in avoiding
the lightning threat altogether. Have a lightning safety plan. If
you have outdoor plans, know where you`ll go for safety and how much
time it will take to get there. Make sure your plan allows enough
time to reach safety. Before going outdoors, check the forecast
for thunderstorms. If thunderstorms are in the forecast, consider
postponing activities to avoid being caught in a dangerous
situation. Finally, when outdoors, monitor the weather and be sure
to look for signs of a developing thunderstorm such as darkening
skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing wind. If you hear
thunder, even a distant rumble, immediately activate your lightning
safety plan and move to a safe place.
For more information about safety, please visit:
Be sure to take some time this week to learn more about severe
weather safety. Learning and practicing severe weather safety when
the weather is good will allow you to react more quickly when the
weather turns bad. You can learn more about severe weather safety
by visiting the North Carolina Department of Public Safety
preparedness website at readync.org. This web page features an
abundance of information, and links to a free cell phone app, that
will help you plan and prepare for the severe weather season. Once
again, that`s readync.org.