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'See a Flash, Dash Inside!' New lightning safety slogan rolls out

June 22, 2016

A new partnership between NOAA and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community has yielded a fresh safety campaign slogan to protect more people from lightning strikes this summer.  

Lightning strikes Citibank Ballpark in Midland, Texas.

NOAA’s traditional motto, "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors," has helped countless people understand how to protect themselves from lightning during a dangerous thunderstorm. 

But as meteorologist Jen Saari recently learned during community outreach in Huntsville, Alabama, this slogan doesn’t resonate with everyone – especially those who can’t hear. That motto is built around the simple premise of hear a weather threat (thunder), take action (go inside to safety). Upon realizing there was a gap in NOAA’s lightning safety effort, Saari and colleague Trevor Boucher got to work, expanding partnerships with Deaf and Hard of Hearing organizations and within the agency to solve the problem.

The result is a new campaign slogan based on sight rather than sound. Under the guidance of experts at Gallaudet University, NOAA has produced a national video public service announcement (PSA) to promote the new safety guidance for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The PSA features Daisy Rivenbark, a deaf services specialist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Rivenbark, herself deaf, signs important information about lightning safety throughout the video to promote a more helpful tip to remember: "When you see a flash, dash inside!" 

If you see a flash, dash inside! Some people can't rely on audible cues for lightning safety to stay weather aware. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing community relies on visual cues to know when to seek shelter.
Video: Lightning safety for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
If you see a flash, dash inside! Some people can't rely on audible cues for lightning safety to stay weather aware. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing community depends on visual cues to know when to seek shelter. (NOAA National Weather Service)

After watching the PSA, please share it widely on your social networks to help spread the word.