National Weather Association Policy Statement on Lightning Safety
Education: Approved May 2003.
Lightning is an underrated weather hazard. It is the second leading
cause of storm-related deaths in the U.S., exceeded only by floods.
In an average year, lightning kills more people in the United
States than tornadoes or hurricanes. Of the estimated 1,000 people
who are struck by lightning each year in the U.S, only 10% are
killed, but survivors may suffer life-long disabilities.
The majority of lightning casualties (deaths and injuries) are
preventable. Therefore, all NWA members are encouraged to proactively
educate the public on the threat of lightning and on lightning safety.
Radio and Television weathercasters and teachers, with their access
to large segments of the public, can be especially effective in
this effort. By increasing efforts to educate the public about the
dangers of lightning, NWA members could substantially decrease the
number of lightning casualties.
Safety information is posted on this Web site page: www.nwas.org/links/lightning.html
to assist members in lightning safety education activities. Although
it would be optimal to include lightning safety information any
time thunderstorms are predicted, "Lightning Safety Awareness
Week," started by NOAA's National Weather Service and its partnering
organizations in the year 2000, occurs during the last full week
in June each year and is a good time to stress lightning safety
education. Lightning safety education is easy, can be highly effective,
costs little, and may make the greatest impact in decreasing weather-related
deaths and injuries.
Approved: May 2003, Bill Read NWA President.
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