KINGSPORT – As Kingsport prepares for Fun Fest 2015, the Kingsport Fire Department and the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors want to remind you of the Dangers of Lightning.

During Fun Fest, the Fun Fest Parade, concerts and other outdoor Fun Fest Activities, Safety Officials will be monitoring the weather for thunderstorms and other severe weather.

Lightning Facts:

  • Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the storm.
  • Listen for directions from Police and Fire Officials in case of inclement weather.
  • Sign up for local alerts on your cell phone
  • There is no safe place outside. You must go inside a sturdy building with walls, closed windows, electricity and plumbing, or get in a hard topped car with the windows rolled up
  • If can hear thunder or see lightning you are in danger.
  • Do NOT seek shelter under a tree!
  • Plan your activities so you don’t get caught outside in a thunderstorm.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the storm to resume activities.

Lightning deaths are already double those than at this time last year. ALL of these deaths were avoidable. Don’t WAIT… When thunder roars, go indoors!

If there are thunderstorms in the forecast, make sure you can quickly get to a safe shelter or reschedule the outdoor activity.

Main NWS Lightning Safety Website:http://www.weather.gov/lightning

As of July 8, 2015, 17 people have died from lightning strikes in the United States –‚ ALL of these deaths were avoidable. This is double the average number of year-to-date lightning fatalities (8.8) over the past five years (2010-2014). There are several possible reasons for this, such as more convective activity across the country; an improved economy resulting in more people taking vacations this summer; the possibility of people taking more risks than usual; and the element of chance.‚ But the most important issue is behavior: People‚ must go indoors when they hear thunder!

Here are some statistics of past years at this time in the calendar:

Number of year-to-date fatalities as of July 6:

  • 2015: 17 fatalities
  • 2014: ‚ 9 fatalities
  • 2013: ‚ 9 fatalities
  • 2012: ‚ 7 fatalities
  • 2011: ‚ 8 fatalities
  • 2010: 11 fatalities