National Lightning Safety Awareness Week June 2016

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When it Roars Go Indoors.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week nationwide.

Lightning is an underrated killer, responsible for an average of 49 deaths per year across the country.  Of all storm-related hazards, only flooding and tornadoes claim more lives per year on average, and long term fatality averages are comparable between lightning and tornadoes.  Yet, because lightning rarely causes mass destruction of property or mass casualty events, the dangers associated with it are underappreciated.

There are an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per year in the United States, each one capable of seriously injuring or killing anyone unlucky enough to be struck.  Aside from the average of 49 deaths, an average of 500+ lightning injuries are reported each year, although this number is likely underreported because many people do not seek help, and doctors may not record a patient as suffering a lightning injury.  Unfortunately, lightning strike survivors often suffer a variety of long-term physical and mental effects  including mood changes, memory loss, sleep disorders, pain, numbness, stiffness, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, muscle spasms, and depression.