Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Boston, MA

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Taunton MA
1110 AM EDT FRI JUN 24 2016

...Lightning Safety Awareness Week Continues - Why NWS Does Not
Recommend the Lightning Crouch...

The National Weather Service (NWS) stopped recommending the
crouch in 2008. Why? The crouch simply does not provide a
significant level of protection. Whether you are standing or in
the crouch position, if a lightning channel approaches from
nearly directly overhead, you are very likely to be struck and
either killed or injured by the lightning strike. Since there is
no safe place outdoors, the NWS would rather focus on explaining
what to do so that you don`t get into a dangerous situation
in the first place.

Plan ahead - that includes knowing where you will go for safety.
Listen to the forecast.

Cancel or postpone activities if thunderstorms are in the forecast.

Monitor weather conditions.

Take action early so that you have time to get to a safe place.

Get inside a substantial building or hard-topped metal vehicle before
threatening weather arrives.

If you hear thunder, get to a safe place immediately. If you can
hear it, it is close enough for you to get struck.

Promoting the crouch gives people the false impression that
crouching will provide safety. Even to promote the crouch as a
last resort when a person`s hair stands on end gives people the
impression that they will get a warning sign or that there is
something that they can do in that situation to prevent them from
being struck. These beliefs could cause people to become
apathetic and not seek a safe shelter before the lightning
threat becomes significant.

There is no safe place outside in a thunderstorm. If you cannot
get inside a substantial building or hard-topped metal vehicle,
you cannot be safe. While there may be nothing you can do to
lower your risk substantially, there are things you should avoid
which would actually increase your risk of being struck.
These include...

Avoid open areas.

Don`t be...or be near...the tallest objects in the area.

Don`t shelter under tall or isolated trees.

In the woods, put as much distance as possible between you and any
tree.

If in a group, spread out so that you increase the chances for
survivors who could come to the aid of any victims of a lightning
strike.

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety,
visit the NOAA lightning safety awareness Web site at

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov

$$


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