Monday, June 25, 2012

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Despite the lack of severe weather so far this season (or the lack of any weather, for that matter), this week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Lightning is a dangerous weather phenomena that kills more than 50 people a year nationwide. Four people have already died this year alone due to lightning strikes. It's important to understand how lightning works in order to stay safe when it strikes. Here are some common myths about lightning and the truth about what really happens.

Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: 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.

Myth: If it’s not raining or there aren’t clouds overhead, you’re safe from lightning.
Fact: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. “Bolts from the blue” can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm.

Myth: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground.
Fact: Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don't lean on doors during a thunderstorm.

For more information about Lightning Safety Awareness week, click here.

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