Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU ME
755 AM EDT MON JUN 22 2015

...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...

...LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JUNE 21ST
THROUGH 27TH, 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 CARIBOU, ME CONTAINING
INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY.

LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETYAN INTRODUCTION

IN THE UNITED STATES, THERE ARE BETWEEN 20 AND 25 MILLION
CLOUDTOGROUND 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 (1985
TO 2014), LIGHTNING HAS KILLED ALMOST 1500 PEOPLE IN THE UNITED
STATES, AN AVERAGE OF 49 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 4 DEATHS, MAKING IT
THE 4TH HIGHEST IN THE NATION PER CAPITA.

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.

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

HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV

$$


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