Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Caribou ME
553 AM EDT Mon Jun 19 2017

The National Weather Service has declared the week of June 19th
through 23rd, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK in Maine.  This is the
first in a series of five public information statements to be issued
by the National Weather Service Office in Caribou, ME containing
information on lightning and lightning safety.


In the United States, there are between 20 and 25 million cloud to
ground lightning flashes each year.  Maine averages about 60,000
flashes. 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 (1987 to
2016), lightning has killed almost more than 1400 people in the
United States, an average of 48 people per year based on documented
cases.  In addition, during this same period, lightning has injured
an estimated 15,000 people, some left with life-long neurological
damage.  In the last 10 years, Maine has seen 3 deaths, making it
the 10th highest in the nation per capita.  In an average lifetime
the odds of being struck by lightning are 1/13,000.  This seems
high, but when you compare it to your chances of winning the
lottery, you have a much greater chance.

In addition to the deaths and injuries, lightning causes
considerable damage across the nation.  Each year, lightning is the
cause of about 25,000 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 in damages each year.

During the next several days, we`ll provide additional information
on lightning and lightning safety.  We`ll 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 can`t 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`s important to make sure that you`re 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`s a list of topics we`ll cover later this week:

TUESDAY - Lightning`s 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 NOAA`s Lightning Safety Awareness web site at:

Hewitt is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.