(DUBLIN, Ohio) – Each year in the U.S., more than 400 people are struck by lightning. On average, between 55 and 60 people are killed and hundreds of others suffer permanent neurological disabilities.
Most of these tragedies can be avoided with a few simple precautions. When thunderstorms threaten, get to a safe place. Lightning safety is an inconvenience that can save your life.
All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far as 10 miles from any rainfall. Many lightning deaths occur ahead of storms or after storms have seemingly passed. If you can hear thunder, you are in danger. Don’t be fooled by blue skies. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to pose an immediate threat.
Many lightning victims say they were “caught” outside in the storm and couldn’t get to a safe place. Other lightning victims waited too long before seeking shelter. Some people were struck by lightning because they went back outside too soon. Others were in contact with plumbing, a metal door or a window frame when lightning hit the structure they were inside.
With proper planning, these tragedies could be prevented. When you hear thunder or see lightning, do the following:
Head to a safe place immediately. By heading to a safe place 5 to 10 minutes sooner, you could avoid being struck by lightning. Examples of a safe place include: home, school, church, hotel, office building, shopping center, hard topped car, minivan, bus or truck.
Stay inside a safe building or vehicle for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last thunder clap.
Do not use electrical equipment or corded telephones when inside a building during thunder and lightning. Also avoid contact with other electrical conductors inside a building (i.e. plumbing, metal doors, or window frame).
The City owns and operates a lightning detection system. The primary purpose of the lightning detection system is to notify the public of potential lightning strike hazards during severe weather.
The Division of Parks and Open Space is responsible for the testing and maintenance of the system which is located at the Dublin Justice Center. The system is programmed to operate from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week from March 15 to Nov. 10 every year.
Audible warning horns are located at Avery Park, Darree Fields, Emerald Fields, and the City’s North and South Outdoor Pools. Each park also features a sign about the lightning detection system.
The alarm system is triggered when cloud to ground lighting strikes within a 10-30 mile radius of the Justice Center; the alarm system will sound one audible even-toned alarm for approximately 15 seconds. When a period of 15 minutes passes with absolutely no cloud to ground lightning strikes occurring within the range, a second audible high-low-toned alarm will sound for approximately 15 seconds. It does not sound audible alarms in increments of time. The system only sounds once at the first lightning detection and once signaling the area has been clear of lightning for 15 minutes. The system is tested monthly starting in February of each year, and every second Tuesday of each month, beginning in March and ending in November.
For more information
Contact: Megan Canavan at 614.410.4504 | 614.327.6827 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @dublinohio