Ten People Struck by Lightning
Last Week in Florida
June 12, 2001
By: Elizabeth Nelson
average, five to ten people are killed by lightning each year in
Florida. About 100 people are killed by lightning each year in the
United States (more than tornadoes or hurricanes). Last week, Florida
had a record ten people stuck by lightning. One man was killed,
and nine others were injured.
Lightning strikes somewhere in the
United States over 55,000 times a day and due to heat and humidity,
Florida received about 3,500 strikes a day.
According to Ron Holle, a lightning
expert with Global Atmospherics, "If you see lightning and
you count the number of seconds until you hear thunder, if it's
30 seconds or less, it is time to take action." It is best
to take cover in a large building. After the last flash of lightning,
you should wait at least 30 minutes before leaving your house.
Other safety tips include: Standing
away from doors, windows, and electrical appliances. Unplug appliances
before the storm, not during. Stay away from water in sinks, baths,
and faucets. Stay off of the telephone.
If you happen to be caught outside
during a storm, follow these safety guidelines from The Lightning
Protection Institute: get in a hard-topped car. Never seek shelter
near a tree. Avoid areas that are higher than the surrounding landscape.
Keep away from metal objects including bikes, golf carts, fencing,
machinery, etc. Avoid standing near tall objects. Immediately get
out and away from pools, lakes, and other bodies of water. Spread
out-- don't stand in a crowd of people. If you feel a tingling sensation
or your hair stands on end, lightning may be about to strike! Immediately
crouch down and cover your ears. Do not lie down or place your hands
on the ground. Victims of lightning shock should be administered
CPR if necessary, and seek medical attention immediately.
For more precautions, see http://www.lightning.org/