Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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NOUS41 KGYX 191101

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Gray ME
0700 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 and New
Hampshire.  This is the first in a series of five public
information statements to be issued by the National Weather
Service Office in Gray, Maine 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 New Hampshire has about 30,000
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 47 people per year based on
documented cases.  In addition, during this same period,
lightning has injured an estimated 13,000 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.  During this same period, New Hampshire has not had a
fatal lightning incident.

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:

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