We’re midway through hurricane season and it seems like thunderstorms are now an everyday occurrence. If you’re a native Floridian or seasonal snowbird, you know that Florida Thunderstorms are a force to be reckoned with. But have you heard just how dangerous these storms are? Specifically the lightning they create?
A recent article posted in the Ocala StarBanner highlights the serious threat posed by lightning strikes and the precautionary measures we each can take to ensure our safety.
“When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors”
There is a reason Florida is titled the Lightning Capital of the US. Each year, there are more lightning-related deaths than any other state. From 2003 to 2012, Florida had 52 lightning-related deaths alone. According to weather officials, it can be sunny outside and you can still be struck. Even if you’re as far as 25 miles from a storm, you’re still within striking distance. So, what shouldn’t you be doing during a lightning-packed storm? Avoid fishing, camping, boating, farming, ranching, the beach, and open fields. In fact, fishermen are 3x more likely to be killed by lightning than golfers.
Well, on the most basic level, Florida is surrounded by three bodies of water. Therefore, with hot summer weather, the ground heats up faster than water and produces gulf of mexico sea breezes. As a result, warm, moist air rises from the surface until it meets the colder, drier air in the atmosphere - voilá, lightning!
It’s the stretch from Titusville to Tampa. You’ve probably heard of it, and for good reason. This stretch gets its name from the 150 lightning flashes per square mile annually. The gulf sea breezes that travel over Florida collide in this area, right over I-75, and form dangerous lightning-packed thunderstorms. If you find yourself caught in a storm, get off the road and take shelter.
Avoid The Shocking Costs
Lightning is not only dangerous, it’s expensive too. One lightning bolt has 1 million volts of electricity and can generate heat 5x hotter than the sun. According to the Lightning Safety Institute, an estimated $2 billion of damage results from lightning strikes each year. Damage can occur miles from impact and can produce shocking costs. In just 2009, homeowners filed more than 185,000 lightning strike-related claims.
So, how do you prepare? Call us at 888.337.9322 or fill out a Homeowners Insurance Quote Form today!