Lightning Safety Tips in The Wake of The Pocono Tragedy

There are still many questions about the tragic events of Sunday’s Nascar car race in Long Pond, Pa where 1 fan was killed an 10 injured by a lightning strike. Even in the best cases tragedy can hit but clearly come communication and steps were not followed in the events leading up to this event. Even I was aware of the danger down here in Charlotte and tried to spread the word via my Twitter account.

Here was the series of tweets I sent out leading up the storm arriving.

I’m sure many things will be reviewed and talked about in the days and weeks ahead. I fully agree with many of the sentiments expressed by my friend Brian Neudorff who tweets under @NASCAR_WXMAN. He wrote a great opinion piece on on the whole situation. It’s worth a read when you have time.

I want to focus on lightning safety in this post, a part of weather safety many take way too lightly. If you see lightning or hear thunder you need to seek shelter. Lightning can strike over 20 miles away from a storm and too many people believe myths about lightning which puts them in harm’s way. The National Weather Service has put together some great information on safety and tips for large outdoor venues like a race track. There are steps you can take as an individual and as an event organizer to prevent tragedies in the future.

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Check this site for handouts, indoor safety and outdoor risk reduction tips, medical facts, history, survivor stories, photos, teacher tools, kids page and more.

Baseball team shows lightning safety sign
Monaca, PA, receives recognition as the first Little League team to implement the lightning safety toolkit


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Leon the lightning Roars Say When Thunder Roars Go Indoors


Summer is the peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena— lightning. But don’t be fooled, lightning strikes year round. The goal of this Website is to safeguard U.S. residents from lightning. In the United States, an average of 54 people are reported killed each year by lightning. To date, there have been 19 deaths in 2012. Find out the sad facts about lightning deaths in previous years.

Hundreds of people are permanently injured each year.  People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and more.

Lightning is a serious danger. Through this site we hope you’ll learn more about lightning risks and how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your belongings. As a start, get an overview of Lightning Safety or stop by our comprehensive page of handouts, brochures, links and more.

Check out recent lightning safety events.