Did you know that 64% of lightning deaths since 2006 occurred while people were engaged in some type of leisurely activity? Imagine that one fun thing you enjoy doing outside, then add in a little lightning… not so fun anymore. When it comes to severe weather, including lightning, more is NOT merrier.
The National Weather Service (NWS) conducted a study examining demographic information for 238 lightning-related deaths over the last 7 years and released their findings this week, Lightning Safety Awareness week (June 23-29)! Of the 152 deaths attributed to leisure activities, here are the most at-risk ones:
1) Fishing – 26 deaths (17%)
2) Camping – 15 deaths (10%)
3) Boating – 14 deaths (9%)
4) Soccer – 12 deaths (8%)
5) Golf – 7 deaths (5%)
The remaining 77 deaths were associated with other leisure activities such as enjoying the beach, swimming, walking and running, riding recreational vehicles, picnicking and relaxing in their yard. It’s important to note that 82% of people killed by lightning were male!
During Lightning Safety Awareness week, the NWS forecast offices throughout the country will promote lightning safety at local events all week! Here at WeatherBug, we’ve sent these complimentary (and silly) lightning hats to our broadcast partners.
The NWS offers this advice, “The best way for people to protect themselves against lightning injury or death is to monitor the weather and postpone or cancel outdoor activities when thunderstorms are in the forecast. Lightning can strike from 10 miles away, so if people can hear thunder, they are in danger of being struck by lightning. The only safe places to be during a thunderstorm are in a building with four walls and a roof or in a car. A hut, cabana, tent, or other rain shelter will not protect a person from being struck by lightning.”
For additional lightning safety tips, be sure to check out WeatherBug’s Lightning Safety 101 – Knowing Before is Half the Battle – you’ll find easy ways to keep safe during highly charged weather events!
Be safe. Be smart. Download WeatherBug to Know Before™ and remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!