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Exercise Caution During Summer Storms

By Florida Department of Health; Office of Communications

June 26, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

EXERCISE CAUTION DURING SUMMER STORMS

TALLAHASSEE—The summer months are here and for many Floridians this means spending time outdoors enjoying the weather. Summer can also mean spontaneous showers, which can be severe with heavy rains and lightning. The Florida Department of Health encourages everyone to remain vigilant of severe weather.

“This summer, as you enjoy Florida's great outdoors, stay ahead of severe weather by knowing the forecast and having a plan to get indoors," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Be prepared for any weather change, expected or otherwise.”

In order to ensure all enjoy the outdoors safely, it is important to understand the dangers of lightning and follow a safety plan in case of inclement weather. For the past 30 years, lightning ranks just behind tornadoes and flooding in weather-related deaths.  

“Florida averages more lightning strikes per square mile than any other state, and our abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities makes lightning a very serious concern,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon. “Our Kids Get A Plan campaign is one of the tools we use to address lightning safety.  Visit our website, kidsgetaplan.com for an interactive book about lightning safety, The 30/30 Rule, and to talk to your family about how you can remain safe when the threat of lightning is present.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) offers safety tips to avoid the threat of lightning:

  • Know the weather forecast before you head out and plan accordingly;
  • The best way to avoid harm from lightning is to be inside a safe structure or inside a vehicle during a thunderstorm;
  • Unsafe structures include tents, patios, carports, baseball dugouts, greenhouses and sheds;
  • Avoid tall objects or high ground, standing water, metal objects and open spaces; and
  • Avoid showers, sinks, tubs, and electrical equipment such as computers and corded telephones.

For more information on the Kids Get A Plan outreach campaign and for an online, interactive copy of The 30/30 Rule and other educational books, visit www.kidsgetaplan.com.

For more information on lightning strikes and forecasts, visit NWS at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/.

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The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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