NWS: “When Lightning Roars, Go Indoors”

by WHIZ Reporter on June 26, 2012 at 6:29 am

Despite the lack of rain, this week marks National Lightning Safety Week and a new campaign from the National Weather Service encourages the public to heed the warning, "When lightning roars, go indoors."

According to the National Weather Service, lightning is one of the nation’s most deadly weather phenomena.

Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency Director Bo Keck says at the first sign of thunder or lightning, it’s best seek shelter in a sturdy structure.

"Get in a structure, in an actual building or in a metal-topped car, not a convertible, but in a car and I know a lot of your ball fields there’s not enough places for people but most people drove to get there, so they need to get off the fields get out of the dugouts and go to their cars," said Keck.

Ohio has had 11 lightning-related deaths in the last decade more than surrounding Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.

According to National Weather Service records, the last fatality from lightning in Ohio occurred last year when 40-year-old Donnell Russell was struck and killed while camping in Westchester.

"If someone is struck by lightning and you’re close to them, they’re not going to carry an electrical charge or anything like that. You need to get to them right away, call 9-1-1 and start CPR," added Keck.

Other weather service records indicate that so far in 2012, there have been four lightning-related deaths around the country.

The victims include a 12-year-old Greenville, Alabama boy who was hit playing outdoors as well as a father and son who were struck in a small metal structure under a tree in Ponchatoula, Louisiana and a 51 year-old man who was in a boat fishing in Lake Okeechobee, Florida.