Florida named lightening capital of the U.S. and suffers most injuries and deaths.
Naples, FL (JusticeNewsFlash.com)—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) http://www.noaa.gov/ has named June 21-27, Lightning Safety Awareness Week, and Florida residents and visitors are urged to listen! The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) http://www.ucar.edu/ says, Florida’s peninsular shape makes an ocean-land heat contrast and fluid air circulation that brews storms year-round. These atmospheric weather conditions caused 126 fatalities in the past 13 years, according to an NOAA study. Texas is trailing behind Florida with the second highest lightening strike fatalities with 52 deaths in the same time period.
Florida is basically one big lightening rod; Tampa and Orlando are battling for the title of the state’s “lightening capital”. Shockingly, Naples receives the highest percentage of Florida’s lightening strikes. NOAA has provided some safety tips for what is and isn’t safe shelter when a lightening storm is present:
• A building that is fully enclosed with a roof, walls, a floor, and has plumbing and/or wiring.
• Any fully enclosed metal roof motor vehicle such as a hard topped car, minivan, bus, truck, SUV, or a boat with a cabin.
• Car ports, open garages, covered patios, picnic shelters, beach pavilions, golf shelters, baseball dugouts, sheds, greenhouses, or tents of any kind.
• Convertibles, golf carts, riding lawn mowers, open cab construction equipment and boats without cabins.
If you are unable to seek safe shelter, there are a few tips from the NOAA that will reduce the likelihood of being struck by lightening:
• Avoid open fields, the tops of hills or ridge tops.
• Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects.
• Stay away from water, wet items and metal objects, like fences and poles. Water and metal are conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning will travel for miles
• If you are on a small boat without a cabin, drop anchor and position yourself as low as possible on the deck.
• If you happen to be diving and resurface during a thunderstorm, you are safer diving back into deep water for the duration of the storm or as long as possible.
Floridians who have been struck by lightening are urged to seek medical attention immediately. Dialing your local emergency medical services (EMS) provider may help you receive the urgent care you need faster and safer. Florida workers, laborers, and worksite managers need to be aware of lightening and the proper safety steps to maintain workplace safety during inclement weather.
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Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.