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When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
Ohio Lightning Safety Awareness Campaign

Brought to you by the NWS in Wilmington and Cleveland
and Ellen Bryan, Miss Ohio 2011

Lightning strikes more than 400 people in the United States each year, causing devastating and permanent disabilities for those who survive. The National Weather Service has adopted the motto When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors to encourage people to take the proper action when lightning threatens. The NWS seeks local partners to help spread the message within their communities, and help keep their citizens safe from the dangers of lightning.

The Lightning Safety Toolkit:
When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors is a public awareness campaign designed to help save lives during thunderstorms. This campaign encourages the public to take action when they hear thunder, rather than waiting for lighting or rain.

The National Weather Service will be partnering with local and county governments to develop comprehensive plans for lightning safety. The plan will include the following steps:
  • Assess groups within the county that have outside recreation or large event venues. Invite groups to partner with the county on this effort.
  • Ensure all groups taking part have written thunder/lightning policies consistent with the NWS and When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors message. Also, ensure all groups who commit to the program agree to install signs and educate their staff and volunteers about the NWS thunder and lightning policies.
  • Schedule a media event to promote the lightning safety efforts. Invite local TV, radio, and newspapers to raise awareness for the campaign. Ellen Bryan and NWS meteorologists will be available to speak about lightning safety.

This campaign requires a small amount of resources to help educate the public, keep the community safe, and save lives. For more detailed information, visit the NWS Lightning Safety Toolkit website.

Ellen Bryan, Miss Ohio 2011, is proud to partner with the NWS as a spokesperson for lightning safety awareness. On June 13, 2000, Ellen's sister Christina was struck by lightning while working at a golf course in Celina. Christina survived the lightning strike, but was seriously injured.

In the state of Ohio, there were 12 lightning fatalities from 2001-2010, and many times that number of injuries. Ellen has been inspired to tell her sister's story, and spread the word about the importance of lightning safety.

The National Weather Service is excited to bring this awareness program to counties across the state of Ohio.
Please contact Karen Oudeman at NWS Cleveland for more information.

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National Weather Service
Wilmington Ohio Weather Forecast Office
1901 South State Route 134
Wilmington, OH 45177
Tel: (937) 383-0031
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Page last modified: August 6, 2012.
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