National Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 24-30

Lightning Safety Awareness Week runs from June 24th through June 30th this year.  When you hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning, even if it isn't raining.  In fact, some the most powerful lightning strikes (positively charged strikes) can occur miles away from the main thunderstorm activity.  

Introduction to Lightning Safety

In the United States each year, there are about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is extremely dangerous. According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, between the years 1990 and 2003, there were 756 lightning deaths in the United States. Bringing that down to the local level, Wisconsin had 12 reported lightning deaths during that time.

Currently, 54 people die each year due to lightning, based on a 30-year average.  While lightning fatalities across the country have come down significantly in recent years, the problem is, there are still people who wait too long to seek safe shelter.  We continue to urge people to follow the motto, "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors . . .and stay there at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder." 

2012 Lightning Fatalities - U.S.
 
Number
 
Date
 
D of W
 
State
 
City
 
Age
 
Sex
 
Location
 
Activity
 
Victim
1
 
3/30/2012
 
Friday
 
AL
 
Greenville
 
12
 
M
 
Under tree
 
Playing
 
Aven Brett Schofield
 
3
 
4/11/2012
 
Wednesday
 
LA
 
Ponchatoula
 
33
 
M
 
Small metal structure
 
Had been fishing
 
Luther Clyde Baham, Jr.
 
2
 
4/11/2012
 
Wednesday
 
LA
 
Ponchatoula
 
54
 
M
 
Small metal structure
 
Had been fishing
 
Luther Clyde Baham, Sr.
 
4
 
6/8/2012
 
Friday
 
FL
 
Lake Okeechobee.
 
51
 
M
 
Boat in lake
 
Fishing
 
Lorenzo Magdaleno
 
5
 
6/23/2012
 
Saturday
 
VT
 
Post Mills
 
16
 
M
 
Farm field
 
Harvesting squash
 
Connor Cook
Check out the links below to find out more information

 

Info about this year's lightning safety campaign

Lightning safety homepage

Our preparedness page

All the information you need to know about lightning

Lightning Fatality Statistics:  By the Charts

Lightning: Facts, Myths and Misnomers

Toolkit for communities and counties   

Lightning Safety for Large Venues 

Lightning Safety Brochure

Activities and info for kids

Leon the Lion's Lightning Safety Game

Leon's Coloring Book

Leon's PSA


 Here are topics for each day of the business week to consider

Monday, June 25

An Introduction to Lightning Safety

Tuesday, June 26

The Science of Lightning

Wednesday, June 27

Outdoor Lightning Safety

Thursday, June 28

Safe Shelter and Indoor Lightning Safety

Friday, June 29

Medical Aspects of Lightning

 


 

 

The Wisconsin Emergency Management folks and their ReadyWisconsin initiative have a press release found here.

National severe weather statistics, including lightning fatalities, can be found here.

In Wisconsin, for the period of 1982 through 2011, 23 lightning fatalities and 208 injured people were reported.  To view lighting-related information and graphics for Wisconsin, click here.

 


 

 

 Costliest Lightning Events in Wisconsin ($1M)

Rank
Location
Date-Time
Cost $
Description
1
Kenosha,
Milwaukee Co.
Aug 24, 2007-
11:15am CDT
14.0 M
Several lightning strikes to several buildings caused structural fires and power outages. Storm was a super cell that did produce tornadoes and large hail. No deaths/injuries reported.
2
Wausau,
Marathon Co.
Oct 6, 2007-
Morning hours
8.3 M
Lightning hit power plant (this is the 2nd event; first was August 2006) Power plant is out of service until early 2008. No deaths/injuries reported.
3
Schofield,
Marathon Co.
Aug 23, 2008-
2:29am CDT
8.0 M
Lightning caused a fire at the Gordon Aluminum Industries in Schofield. The fire destroyed a row of offices and generated enough heat to incapacitate nearby machinery. In addition to fire damage at the plant, $300 M worth of unfinished aluminum had varying degrees of corrosion as a result. 
The lightning strike rattled residences in the area. A blown gas main valve near the source of the fire served to fuel the blaze. 
4
Hartland,
Waukesha Co.
Nov 5, 2007-
8:00pm CDT
1.1 M
Hail associated storm. Lightning struck a home in the Town of Merton (1.7m north of Hartland in Waukesha Co.) just east of Beaver Lake. The resultant fire quickly burned the expensive home to the ground. No one was home at the time. No deaths/injuries reported
5
Milwaukee,
Milwaukee Co.
Jul 21, 1997-
3:00am CDT
1.0 M
Lightning caused a massive fire at a towing business on the south side of Milwaukee. The building and its contents were a total loss. No deaths/injuries reported.
 
Trevor,
Kenosha Co. 
Sept 29, 2002-
6:00am CDT
1.0 M
Lightning struck a cork-producing business and probably produced sparks that ignited insulation in the attic. A slow burning fire resulted, and eventually became a major fire. No deaths/injuries reported.
 
Sturtevant,
Racine Co.
Jul 6, 2003-
11:40am CDT
1.0 M
Storm produced powerful downbursts and 4 weak tornadoes. Lightning struck a home in Middleton, resulting in roof/attic fire. No deaths/injuries reported as a cause of the lightning.

Brooks/AFK  (some material above adopted from the NWS Brownsville office's web site)

NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan



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