Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week: Lightning
January 22nd through 26th is dedicated to educating Floridians about weather hazards which tend to impact this state and how to prepare for such occurrences.
Following the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s lead, Ocala Fire Rescue will be using each day of the week to focus on a specific weather event; beginning with lighting.
Though lightning can occur anywhere, with an average of 1.4 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes a year Florida is the lightning capital of North America. Because of its unpredictable nature, the best way to protect your family from lightning is to teach them to seek shelter and remain indoors when lighting is within sight or thunder roars.
When a lightning threat is near:
- Seek shelter immediately.
- Find an enclosed building or a vehicle with a hard-topped roof.
- Stay away from windows and wait at least 30 minutes after the thunder is heard before exiting your shelter.
“A great way to know if lighting is a threat is through the use of the 30-30 rule”, said Fire Chief Bradd Clark. “The first stands for 30 seconds - count the seconds between hearing thunder and seeing lighting; if lighting strikes before you reach 30 seconds, lightning is a still a threat. The second stands for 30 minutes. Wait thirty minutes after the last thunder roar, before you leave your shelter.”