Transcript of NOAA
Lightning Safety B-roll Video
Siri Mullinex: 30 second Public Service Announcement
And parried over the bar by Siri Mullinix!!! what a save for
the Washington keeper
Hi, I'm Siri Mullinix from the Washington Freedom. According
to NOAA's National Weather Service, lightning kills more people
each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Lightning can strike
areas up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Even if it's
not raining where you are, you could still be within striking
distance. Stay informed about weather conditions and if you
hear thunder, stop what you're doing and get indoors until 30
minutes after the storm has passed. Lightning Kills, Play it
Rocco Mediate: 30 second Public Service Announcement
Hi I'm Rocco Mediate. According to NOAA's National Weather
Service, lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes
or hurricanes. Taking chances on the court can be smart play,
but not when it comes to stormy weather. Lightning can strike
up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. If you see lightning,
or even just hear thunder, play it safe. Stop what you're
doing and get indoors, and stay there until the storm has
passed. Lightning kills, play it safe.
Rocco Mediate: 10 second Public Service Announcement
Hi, I'm Rocco Mediate. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles
away from a thunderstorm. If you see lightning, or even just
hear thunder, play it safe and get indoors until the storm
Michael Utley, Lightning Strike Survivor, Yarmouth, MA:
We don't think of golf as a hazardous sport. It's not something
that we turn to the extreme network to watch, but I'm here
today to tell you today that it is. If it wasn't for the guys
in my foursome knowing CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation,
I would be dead, or worse yet I would be a basket case that
somebody needed to take care of; a burden on my family.
America should know that we can make a difference. I was
playing with a guy who I'm very happy that his wife had him
take a refresher course in CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
It was 11 minutes before the EMTs got to me, he worked with
a buddy...another buddy of mine for 10 to 12 minutes in a
pouring rainstorm doing mouth-to-mouth and CPR. If it wasn't
for those two guys, I wouldn't be talking to you today.
I want people to know that lightning kills and that might
possibly might not be the worst thing to happen...it could
fry your mind and leave your body a charred remnant of what
By frying your mind, what I mean is that the cognitive problems
that develop 2-3-4 years down the road after being struck
or documented. You're senior moments tend to come much earlier
and more often, you have very little ability to concentrate
and to focus on one thing, you end up questioning everything
you do; you're not sure you did it the way you wanted to do
it or not, you have to go back and try it again. The other
thing is what it does to your body. Your body reverts back
to 2 or 3 months of bedridden non-activity, you need to relearn
all of the basic things in life; how to walk, how to eat,
how to use utensils, how to swallow a glass of water. Swallowing
seems to be one of the things that is affected the most because
of the autotomic system and what happens if you cant swallow?
You beg for a glass of water.
The change in your life and the life of those around you
if you're not killed when you are hit by lightning is dramatic.
Not only does your life change, but your wife, your family,
and those immediately around you all change from enjoying
life to becoming care givers. You enjoy life through other
people's eyes and other people's events, not from your own.
There are many things you have to relearn after being struck,
you have to relearn how to eat with utensils, how to shave,
how to swallow a glass of water, how to walk, a lot of basic
things that we take for granted; you have to start all over
again. Your body does not remember how to do them, you need
to re-teach it just about everything you do in a day.
To protect my daughter from lightning, I pay a lot more attention
to the weather. If we are outside, I make sure that there
are cars parked outside around the field that she is playing
in. With the advent around the country of large recreation
areas where you have 7-10-12 baseball and soccer fields all
together, the kids out in the middle of the field are the
largest objects around, its natural for lightning to strike
them, and its very important that the coaches and officials
pay attention to the weather, the kids lives are in your hands.
One of the best things we can do in a situation like this,
where there are a lot of kids taking up an activity at once
is to park buses around the perimeter of those fields so that
in the case of a thunderstorm, we can all run into the safety
provided by that bus.
[VIDEO CLIPS of Micheal Utley on the golf course]
Dr. Mary Ann Cooper:
I think one of the reasons that lightning is such a crusade
for me is because most people don't know the dangers of lightning
and 90 % of the people who are injured by lightning live and
many of them have significant disabilities which really changes
families and changes lives. Lightning kills more people than
hurricanes or tornadoes, but its an individual injury so you
don't hear as much about it as you do tornadoes, hurricanes,
or any other natural disasters that we have.
Now, the problem is that those who survive, many of them
have significant disability. Many of them have brain injury
and can not return to work, can't return to the family situations
they were in before, or it really changes the family dynamics
because the child or the bread winner is so different.
You know, the only cause of death from a lightning injury
is from cardiac arrest, so if you know CPR, you may be able
to save someone's life who's been injured by lightning.
Too many coaches and too many people want to continue their
activity until the rain actually comes. Lightning can hit
as many as 10 miles in front of a thunderstorm and that's
frequently where we see the injuries, where it appears to
be coming out of what some people say is a clear, blue sky.
Many, many times lightning has hit with clear sky overhead
or clear sky in the area because it goes in front of the thunderstorm.
Lightning when it's coming down from the sky goes down about
50 yards spurts. It goes down, then separates, comes down
separates a second generation, then goes back up, then the
fourth generation goes back up. So lightning really only sees
a radius of about 30 to 50 yards from the last time that it
is branched. So with that tower, the telephone tower that
is over there 300 feet from you or the hill that is half a
mile away or the field house that is 150 feet away, isn't
going to be the one that is hit. If you are the tallest object
in your little 30 to 50 yard radius, you are still going to
be a target.
We have a thing that we teach kids about lightning safety
that is easy for them to remember and that is if you see it,
flee it and if you hear it clear it. Three-year-olds can understand
that and remember that. Sometimes the kids are better than
their parents are about warning them about thunderstorms and
One of the other things that we teach is the 30:30 rule.
The first 30 goes for 30 seconds is the time between seeing
the lightning and hearing the thunder, well frankly I don't
even bother to count, if you see the lightning, or if you
hear the thunder, you should be seeking shelter, particularly
if you are responsible for kids or a team or something like
that. The last thirty, then, is important, 'cause that is
30 minutes. You shouldn't resume activity until 30 minutes
after the last time you heard thunder or saw lightning.
Thank goodness in the last few years there has been a support
group that has formed for lightning strike and electric shock
survivors that does a tremendous service as far as helping
them understand their injury, get appropriate care, have their
families to understand what is going on. These people who
are injured most of the time look the same on the outside,
but their brain may not be functioning the same, the kinds
of chronic pains that they have that really changed their
lives, are very difficult for someone elde to understand and
the support group has been very helpful making these people
know that they are not crazy and not pretending.
I'm really excited about this National Lightning Safety Awareness
Week, this is the first year we've ever done this, the National
Weather Service has done a wonderful service as well as NOAA
in planning this. And I'd really like to thank the PGA and
Rocco for his words and for all the wonderful support that
the PGA has given us and for doing a press conference at the
For more information about lightning safety, you cant tune
in to the National Lightning Safety Awareness Week website
that is done by NOAA and it's www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov-
for information about lightning injuries you can go to our
website which is www.uic (for University of Illinois at Chicago)
[VIDEO CLIPS OF Mary Ann Cooper at work]
Scott Gudes, NOAA Acting Administrator
NOAA's message along with the PGA tour and Rocco Mediate
is quite simple. When a thunderstorm comes along, when lightning
threatens, seek shelter immediately, let the storm play through.
NOAA and the PGA Tour are getting together to do this lightning
safety campaign because lightning is an underrated killer
in this country. In fact, we lose more Americans each year
from lightning than we do from hurricanes or tornadoes.
Lightning is a great threat, in fact, we have some 25 million
lightning strikes each year and in fact lightning can strike
from a storm that's 10 miles away.
[VIDEO CLIPS OF RAIN & LIGHTNING]