Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Midland/Odessa, TX

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NOUS44 KMAF 231711

1211 PM CDT Mon Jun 23 2014 /1111 AM MDT Mon Jun 23 2014/


The National Weather Service has declared the week of June 22nd
through 28th, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.  This is the first in
a series of five public information statements to be issued by the
National Weather Service office in Midland, TX containing information
on lightning and lightning safety.


In the United States, there are between 20 and 25 million cloud to
ground lightning flashes each year.  While lightning can be
fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous.  Each one of
these 25 million flashes is a potential killer.  Based on data for
the last 30 years (1984 to 2013), lightning has killed more than
1500 people in the United States, an average of 51 people per year,
based on documented cases.  In addition, during this same period,
lightning has injured an estimated 15,000 people, some left with
life-long neurological damage.

In addition to the deaths and injuries, lightning causes considerable
damage across the nation.  Each year, lightning is the cause of about
25,000 fires, including about 4400 house fires, 1800 other structural
fires, and numerous forest fires.  Those fires are responsible for an
additional estimated 12 deaths per year.  All totaled, lightning
causes nearly $1 billion in damages each year.

During the next several days, we`ll provide additional information on
lightning and lightning safety.  We`ll cover what you can do to
protect yourself from this dangerous killer.  Most importantly, we
want you to remember that there is no safe place outside during a
thunderstorm.  When thunder roars, go indoors!

Lightning fact for today:

The best protection from lightning is a substantial building.  If you
can`t get inside a substantial building, a hard-topped metal vehicle
will protect you from lightning. If the vehicle is struck, the
lightning will follow the outer metal shell of the vehicle to the
ground.  It`s important to make sure that you`re fully inside the
vehicle with the windows rolled up. Note that the rubber tires do not
prevent the vehicle from being struck, nor do they provide any

Here`s a list of topics we`ll cover later this week:

TUESDAY - Lightning`s Most Deadly Activities
WEDNESDAY - Lightning Safety and Sports Activities
THURSDAY - Lightning Safety at Work
FRIDAY - Lightning Safety Around the Home

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety, visit
NOAA`s Lightning Safety Awareness web site at:


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