Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Burlington, VT

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NOUS41 KBTV 270900
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NYZ026>031-034-035-087-VTZ001>012-016>019-280000-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BURLINGTON VT
500 AM EDT FRI JUN 27 2014

...LIGHTNING AWARENESS WEEK - LIGHTNING MYTHS VS. FACTS...

LIGHTNING IS THE THIRD DEADLIEST NATURAL DISASTER IN THE
UNITED STATES WITH AN AVERAGE OF 50 DEATHS AND HUNDREDS OF
INJURIES ANNUALLY.  LIGHTNING RELATED INJURIES CAN RESULT IN
LIFE-LONG PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DISABILITIES THAT CHANGES AN
INDIVIDUALS LIFE AS WELL AS THEIR FAMILIES FOREVER.

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING...IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THEY
RECEIVE THE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. LIGHTNING
VICTIMS DO NOT CARRY AN ELECTRICAL CHARGE AND ARE SAFE TO HANDLE.
FIRST...HAVE SOMEONE CALL 9-1-1 OR YOUR LOCAL RESCUE SERVICE.
CHECK TO SEE IF THE VICTIM IS BREATHING AND HAS A PULSE AND
CONTINUE TO MONITOR UNTIL HELP ARRIVES. CARDIAC ARREST IS THE
IMMEDIATE CAUSE OF DEATH IN MOST LIGHTNING FATALITIES, IF
NECESSARY BEGIN CPR. ALSO...IF POSSIBLE MOVE THE VICTIM TO A
SAFER LOCATION.

LIGHTNING RELATED CASUALTIES CAN BE EASILY AVOIDED BY KNOWING
WHAT TO DO IF A THUNDERSTORM APPROACHES.

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME WELL KNOWN LIGHTNING MYTHS COMPARED WITH
ACTUAL LIGHTNING FACTS.

MYTH: LIGHTNING NEVER STRIKES TWICE IN THE SAME PLACE.
FACT: LIGHTNING OFTEN STRIKES THE SAME PLACE...IF IT IS A TALL
      ISOLATED OBJECT.

MYTH: IF IT IS NOT RAINING...THEN I AM SAFE FROM LIGHTNING.
MYTH: LIGHTNING CANNOT STRIKE IF CLOUDS ARE NOT OVERHEAD.
FACT: LIGHTNING "OFTEN" STRIKES OVER THREE MILES AWAY FROM THE
      RAIN CORE AND IN SOME CASES STRIKES 10 TO 15 MILES AWAY
      FROM THE THUNDERSTORM.

MYTH: A LIGHTING VICTIM IS ELECTRIFIED AND YOU WILL BE ELECTROCUTED
      BY CONTACTING THEM.
FACT: THE HUMAN BODY DOES NOT STORE ELECTRICITY. IF A PERSON
      BECOMES UNCONSCIUOUS AND IS NOT BREATHING...THEN THEY ARE
      LIKELY SUFFERING FROM CARDIAC ARREST. IMMEDIATE APPLICATION
      OF CPR AND CALLING FOR MEDICAL HELP COULD SAVE A LIFE.

MYTH: A LIGHTNING STRIKE MEANS INSTANT DEATH AND A BURNED BODY.
FACT: ONLY 10 PERCENT OF LIGHTNING VICTIMS DIE. MEANWHILE FOR THE
      LIGHTNING SURVIVORS...70 PERCENT SUFFER LIFE-LONG MEDICAL
      PROBLEMS AND 30 PERCENT ARE DEBILITATING AND CANNOT WORK.
      LIGHTNING WILL OFTEN LEAVE A SMALL SURFACE BURN...NOT A
      BURNED BODY.

MYTH: RUBBER TIRES PROTECT YOU FROM LIGHTNING WHILE IN A VEHICLE.
FACT: MOST CARS ARE REASONABLY SAFE FROM LIGHTNING BUT NOT FROM
      THE RUBBER TIRES...BUT RATHER THE METAL ROOF AND SIDES OF
      THE VEHICLE. THEREFORE...COVERTIBLES...MOTORCYCLES...
      BICYCLES AND VEHICLES WITH PLASTIC OR FIBERGLASS SHELLS
      OFFER NO LIGHTNING PROTECTION.

MYTH: IF LIGHTING IS ABOUT TO STRIKE...LIE FLAT ON THE GROUND.
FACT: THIS ADVICE IS OUTDATED. THE BEST THING IS TO USE THE
      LIGHTNING CROUCH...PUT YOUR FEET TOGETHER...SQUAT LOW...
      TUCK YOUR HEAD AND COVER YOUR EARS.

MYTH: WHEN PLAYING SPORTS AND THUNDERSTORMS THREATEN...WAIT TO
      FINISH THE GAME BEFORE FINDING SHELTER.
FACT: SPORTS ACTIVITIES IS THE FASTEST RISING RATE OF LIGHTNING
      CASUALTIES. IF THUNDERSTORMS THREATEN...SEEK SAFE SHELTER
      UPON WITNESSING DARKENING SKIES...HEARING THUNDER OR
      FOLLOWING THE 30/30 RULE.

HOPEFULLY THE SAFETY INFORMATION PROVIDED HAS IMPROVED YOUR
UNDERSTANDING OF THE DANGERS OF LIGHTNING AND YOU WILL TAKE
PROTECTIVE ACTIONS IN THE FUTURE.

ADDITIONAL LIGHTNING INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THE INTERNET
AT WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV.

$$



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