NORTH PLATTE–The National Weather Service (NWS) in North Platte is proud to be promoting the 18th annual Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaign from June 24-30, 2018. Sponsored by NOAA’s National Weather Service and its partners, Lightning Safety Awareness Week is a nationwide effort to encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example when it comes to lightning safety.
Since the campaign began, the average number of lightning deaths in the U.S. has continued to decrease, but any number is too high. We’ve already had five deaths this year, three male and two female, one was seven years old playing under a tree.
In addition, lightning injures many more people than it kills and leaves some victims with life-long health problems. Because of this threat we are committed to ensuring your safety and we’re calling on you to Be a Force of Nature. Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.
Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides a good way to model preparedness actions for others. For this reason we are asking you to pledge and take the following steps
Know Your Risk: The best way to protect yourself from lightning is to avoid the threat. You simply don’t want to be caught outside in a storm. Check the weather forecast regularly, sign up for local alerts from emergency management officials, and get a NOAA Weather Radio.
Take Action: When thunder roars, go indoors! Have a lightning safety plan, and cancel or postpone activities early if thunderstorms are expected. Get to a safe place before the weather becomes threatening. Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are safe options. Rain shelters, small sheds, and open vehicles are NOT safe. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last thunder clap. Once you are indoors, do not use corded phones and keep away from plumbing and electrical equipment such as computers and kitchen appliances.
Be an Example: Building a Weather-Ready Nation requires the action of each and every one of us. Once you have taken action, tell your family, friends, school staff and co-workers about how they can avoid the danger of lightning.