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Levy County Emergency Management, located in the Emergency Operations Center in Bronson, Fl, is the "Direction and Control Center" for Levy County in times of disaster.
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Lightning  
 
 Power from above...
"The flash of light that accompanies a high-tension natural electric discharge in the atmosphere". This description of lightning comes from the dictionary. Although this states what lightning is, it is not very informative. It doesn't explain to us the nature of lightning, the dangers involved, or how to protect ourselves from injury due to lightning. Lightning is the second deadliest weather-related killer in the United States, averaging 73 deaths per year. In addition, hundreds more are injured, many with serious and lasting impacts on their quality of life.
Lightning
 
Lightning strikes somewhere on the surface of the earth about 100 times every second. A lightning flash can happen in half a second. In that instant, the lightning flash superheats the surrounding air to a temperature five times hotter than that on the surface of the sun. Nearby air expands and vibrates, forming sound that we hear as thunder. Sound travels more slowly than light, so it seems that thunder occurs later.
   
How it works
The cloud bottom carries a negative charge. Positive charges may collect on the ground, buildings, boat masts, people, flagpoles, mountaintops, or trees.

A stepped leader—a negative electrical charge made of zig-zagging segments, or steps—comes partway down from the cloud. The steps are invisible; each one is about 150 feet long.

When the stepped leader gets within 150 feet of a positive charge, a streamer (surge of positive electricity) rises to meet it. The leader and the streamer make a channel.

An electrical current from an object on the ground surges upward through the channel. It touches off a bright display called a return stroke.

Animation
   
Stats

This map shows how often lightning strikes different parts of the lower 48 states. Central Florida has the most intense concentration of cloud-to-ground lightning. The Pacific Northwest has almost no lightning.

 

Personal Lightning Safety Tips

 
  1. PLAN in advance your evacuation and safety measures. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your emergency plan. Now is the time to go to a building or a vehicle. Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities.
  2. IF OUTDOORS...Avoid water. Avoid the high ground. Avoid open spaces. Avoid all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van with the windows completely shut. If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should:
    • A. Crouch down. Put feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
    • B. Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.
  3. IF INDOORS... Avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Take off head sets. Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools, & TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.
  4. SUSPEND ACTIVITIES for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.
  5. INJURED PERSONS do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call 911 or send for help immediately.
  6. KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS.
 
REMEMBER THIS
"If you can see it, flee it; if you can hear it, clear it."