Lightning Safety Awareness Week

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Panama City Beach, FL-- This week is National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

Every year an average of 40 to 50 people are killed by lightning here in the U.S.

More than half of those will happen in Florida, which has more lightning deaths and injuries than all other states combined.

Many lightning fatalities occur in wide open areas, like the Gulf, lakes, golf courses and recreational areas like Frank Brown Park.

That's Panama City Beach City Aquatic Manager Wil Spivey says you can never play it too safe,

"You need to take it seriously. It's something, why roll the dice on it? There are plenty of fun activities you can do indoors when you hear the thunder."

Most establishments like Frank Brown Park will have lightning detection devices.

But Spivey has some advice if you don't have one handy,

"Counting in between the strike and the thunder and divide by 5 and that should give you an accurate, somewhat accurate idea of how far the storm is"

And if math isn't your strong suit, there is an alternative that people like local fisherman Glenn Scott are using,

"The App on my cell phone that shows where the bad clouds are."


-don't stand near or beneath tall objects like trees.
-get off the water as soon as possible.
-the best option is to go indoors.
-if that's not possible, get into a vehicle in a safe location

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