|Lightning safety should be practiced every time it storms|
|Library of Articles - Lightning Safety|
Lightning is a powerful force of nature and a deadly one at that. Over the past 30 years the National Weather Service says an average of 57 people will suffer a fatal lightning strike every year. The summer months are the worst, when 72 percent of the fatalities occur, primarily because of out of door activities.
In the first six months of 2010, eleven people have died from lightning strikes, and several of them were trying to get out of the way of stormy weather at the time. Teenagers in Georgia and Indiana were fatally injured by nature’s deadly electricity when they sought shelter under a tree. And that was the case with seven deaths in 2009. Although they were not struck directly by the lightning bolt, their proximity to the tree allowed them to sustain a fatal shock. Fishermen were killed in Connecticut and Texas when they were along the shore, and lightning accompanied an oncoming storm front.
The hazards of lightning have been known for centuries, yet sometimes the preoccupations we have with activities at hand cause us to be unaware of the potential danger. That may have been the case for the parents of an 8 year-old child who was killed by lightning at a family gathering in Louisiana, as well as a 19 year-old soccer player who was in a wide open area at the time he was struck in North Carolina.
Another tragedy in that state occurred when a 25 year-old woman and her boyfriend were hiking up a mountain and she was fatally injured by a lightning strike. Another hilltop was the scene of a lightning mishap this year when a 70 year-old man was hit as he was searching for better reception for his cell telephone. When a storm brews, it may be hard to find shelter and avert a problem, and that was the case for a 53 year-old man on a motorcycle, and 34-year old woman who was delivering mail.
In most cases, the victim has been a male and the deaths have occurred during summertime, but otherwise there is little commonality among lightning strike victims, since they can be in any state, any age, and on any day of the week.
For information about lightning fatalities, visit: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/ .