National Groups Partner to Promote Lightning Safety and Awareness

Maryville, MO – June 1, 2006 – the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI), the

Lightning Safety Alliance (LSA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have joined forces to promote public awareness about lightning safety. In 2000, NOAA launched an annual Lightning Safety Awareness campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of lightning and provide the public with safety and prevention information to help protect families and their property. As partners with NOAA, the LPI and the LSA will participate in promotions through NOAA and the National Weather Service’s annual campaign for National Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 24-30, 2007).

“Lightning is a dangerous and unpredictable force of nature which kills about 67 people and injures hundreds more in the U.S. each year,” said Donna Franklin, director of the NOAA Lightning Safety Awareness Team. “The LPI and the LSA will be instrumental to our team in helping to further expand our mission to deliver safety solutions about lightning to the public,” added Franklin.

One of the first projects the groups have collaborated on is the introduction of a new mascot to deliver the lightning safety message to children’s groups. “Leon the Lightning Lion” is a cartoon character designed to promote the slogan “When thunder roars, go indoors!” affiliated with, an organization which offers support for lightning survivors and public information about lightning safety.

“Leon the Lightning Lion is a mascot designed to help kids understand and relate to our safety message,” explained Mark Morgan, vice president of the Lightning Safety Alliance. “Lack of awareness about what to do during thunderstorms seems to be a

common factor in many lightning injuries and deaths. Leon is our “Smokey the

Bear” version to help teach prevention and safety during thunderstorm season,” added Morgan.

“LPI has promoted lightning safety to reduce unnecessary and expensive property damage through awareness and education for over 50 years,” said Bud VanSickle, executive director of the LPI. “Through this partnership with NOAA and LSA, we will align existing efforts and pool our expert resources accordingly, to better address lightning safety needs for life and property.”

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The LSA is a non-profit, national league of lightning protection professionals and consumers dedicated to the promotion of lightning protection and safety and the national safety standards that provide, fire, electrical and safety information to the public. Visit the LSA website at for more information.

The LPI is a nationwide not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to promote lightning protection education, awareness and safety. LPI’s membership includes architects, engineers, safety directors, scientists, manufacturers and installers who improve safety through lightning protection. LPI offers a list of certified lightning protection specialists across the U.S. For more information visit their website at