Danger of lightning very real this summer

Published by June 29, 2007

This week is Lightning Awareness Week and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is educating families on the right course of action in an emergency.

Only flooding has killed more Americans during storms over the past 30 years and the importance of preparation and protection cannot be overemphasized.

“Lightning is usually the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazard that people experience each year,” reports NOAA warning coordination meteorologist John Jensenius with the National Weather Service.

“Too often people wait too long before seeking safe shelter from a thunderstorm and find themselves caught outside in a very dangerous and sometimes deadly situation.”

NOAA is forecasting one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons on record this year and families should remember to invest in suitable travel insurance, even if their vacation is short haul.

This serious message is embodied by the cuddly face of Leon the Lightning Lion, who is reminding children of the dangers.

“When thunder roars, go indoors,” is the message of this year’s campaign and it could save lives, or prevent debilitating problems. People struck by lightning often suffer from long term problems including memory loss, sleeping problems, fatigue, depression and dizziness.

Contributed by J.Bevan