Summer has Started and That Means Heat, Thunderstorms and Lightning

Posted at 1 p.m.

This week, June 22-28, is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Summer is the peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena — lightning.

Lightning SafetyAccording to a recent report from NOAA (PDF), June, July and August are the peak months for lightning activity across the U.S. and the peak months for outdoor summer activities. As a result, almost two thirds of lightning deaths occurred to people who had been enjoying outdoor leisure activities; more than 70 percent of these lightning deaths occurred during the summer months with Saturdays and Sundays having slightly more deaths than other days of the week.

Lightning Myths

Have you heard these lightning myths? If there’s lightning, lay down flat on the ground. Seek shelter under a tree. And don’t touch someone who’s been struck or you’ll get shocked. Yes, all of these statements are myths. Here’s the truth:

  • If you lay down on the ground, you’re more exposed to electrical currents running underground.
  • Never seek shelter from lightning under a tree. It is actually the second leading cause of lightning fatalities.
  • If someone is struck by lightning, don’t be scared to assist him or her immediately. The human body does not store electricity and helping them immediately could be essential to their survival.

Before you go out in the rain, know the facts.

  • Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit nearly 100 times a year! (The presence of metal makes absolutely no difference on where lightning strikes.)
  • Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, not the rubber tires.
  • A house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you avoid anything that conducts electricity.

How many lightning myths have you heard?

Keep yourself and others safe by being lighting aware. For more information on lightning, visit the NOAA lightning page. And for thunderstorm safety tips visit www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning.

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One response to “Summer has Started and That Means Heat, Thunderstorms and Lightning”

  1. Pack, Penney L OGC says :

    Penney L. Pack Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Ethics) General Counsel of the Navy 1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 4D641 Washington, DC 20350-1000 Phone – 703-614-7478 Fax – 703-614-9404

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