In a continuing effort to place public safety as a top priority the Town of Bethany Beach has recently purchased and installed a Lightning Warning System. This particular system has been installed on many LPGA golf courses as well as other locations where outdoor sporting events take place.

Safety System

The system, manufactured and installed by Thor-Guard Inc., of Sunrise, Florida, monitors and detects atmospheric electrostatic energy.

As that energy begins to migrate and shift into the monitored region the system will begin a series of alert notifications:
  • “Caution”
  • “Warning”
  • “Red”
  • “All Clear”
When the system reaches “Red” alert an automated process of cellular phone and email notifications takes place, notifying beach lifeguards, police personnel, and Town Administration.

With potentially thousands of people on our beach the lifeguards will immediately begin clearing people from the water and beach, advising them to seek cover until the “All Clear” is received.

Lightning Facts

Lightning is the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazard people experience each year and is the number-one cause of storm-related deaths.

There are approximately 100,000 thunderstorms in the U.S. each year and Americans are twice as likely to die from lightning as from a hurricane, tornado, or flood. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates there are 200 deaths and 750 severe injuries from lightning each year in the U.S.

Most lightning strikes occur either at the beginning or end of a storm and the average strike is six miles long. Lightning reaches 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, four times as hot as the sun’s surface, with voltage in a cloud-to-ground strike reaching 100 million to 1 billion volts. 70% of all lightning injuries and fatalities occur in the afternoon.

Safety Tips

  • Avoid being in close proximity to water
  • Avoid metal objects, power poles, fences, and gates
  • Avoid high mast light poles and metal bleachers
  • Avoid electrical equipment, mowing and road machinery
  • Avoid solitary trees, open fields, and high ground
  • If you feel your hair standing on end, and/or hear “crackling noises”, you are in lightning’s electric field. Immediately remove metal objects (including baseball cap), place your feet together, duck your head, and crouch down low in a baseball catcher’s stance with hands on knees
  • Wait a minimum of 30 minutes from the last observed lightning or thunder before resuming outdoor activities
  • People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to handle. Provide first aid care and immediately get medical help