June 22-28 - Lightning Safety Awareness Week

The National Weather Service and several other agencies recognize the week of June 22 to 28, 2008 as Lightning Safety Awareness Week.  In the United States, an average of 62 people are killed each year by lightning.  In 2007, there were 45 confirmed deaths and hundreds of injuries.  Click here to learn more about this important awareness week and to find other valuable links to lightning safety related materials - including Leon the Lion’s Lightning Safety Game.

In Wyoming, lightning causes more direct fatalities and injuries than any other kind of weather phenomena.  In fact, the lightning-related injury rate in Wyoming is tops in the United States and the Cowboy State ranks second only to New Mexico in the number of deaths per million people per year.  Since 1994, six deaths and 44 injuries have occurred from lightning.  All six lightning-related deaths occurred in the mountains of Wyoming - namely the Teton, Wind River, Snowy, and Medicine Bow ranges.  Read more about the dangers of lightning in Wyoming.

Spectators at last year’s University of Wyoming Homecoming football game will not soon forget the lightning and cold rain that forced a stoppage in play for nearly two hours.  Referees halted the game as lightning approached War Memorial Stadium, prompting most fans to head for shelter.

National Weather Service offices in Riverton and Cheyenne have teamed with Powder River Coal, LLC and University of Wyoming Athletics to heighten awareness of the dangers posed to athletes by lightning.  You can download the Wyoming Lightning Safety brochure and poster below.

Wyoming Lightning Safety
Brochure (.pdf)
Wyoming Lightning Safety
Poster - 12" x 18" (.pdf)

Broadcast media are encouraged to download any of the three lightning safety awareness week public service announcements.  The announcements are 30 seconds in length, are Wyoming-centric, and are in .mp3 format.  Each of the announcements focuses on a different aspect of lightning safety important in Wyoming.

Sports and Lightning
Safety Plan

Safety for Recreation
and Sports Programs

Lightning Safety for
Hikers and Campers

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