Lightning Awareness Week

June 18, 2001


Provided by: Stan Richard
Summary authors & editors: Stan Richard

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 18-24. Lightning is the #2 storm killer in the U.S., killing more people than hurricanes and tornadoes combined, on average. Only floods kill more. But the real story of lightning isn't the deaths, it's the injuries. Only about 10% of those struck are killed; 90% survive. But of the survivors, the large majority suffers life-long severe injuries. These injuries are primarily neurological, with a wide range of symptoms, and are very difficult to diagnose. Lightning also causes about $5 billion of economic loss each year in the U.S.

With foolish disregard for my personal safety, I set-up my camera and tripod in an open field and by using a cable release on the shutter set on "B", I exposed the film for 2-3 minutes at a time and captured this impressive lightning bolt that was less than a mile away, on Sept.7, 1999. Notice the multiple simultaneous strikes in the distance.

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