Amidst the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, damage caused by lightning accompanying the Category 4 winds pales in significance. After all, how much can lightning damage buildings that are destroyed by wind and ocean surge?
Yet focusing on the destruction caused by wind and water distracts us from the havoc caused by electrical strikes. Consider:
– Emergency relief hampered because communication systems are knock-out.
– Storm shelters plunged into darkness because back-up generators are knocked offline.
– Pumps – both for drinking water and drainage – destroyed by lightning surges.
– Homes that resist winds, yet burn due to lightning strikes.
Most hurricanes do not have lightning. But Matthew did, as seen in the satellite photo, reminding us that lightning protection is a crucial part of hurricane preparedness. It reminds us, too, that lightning protection systems must be installed in accordance with NFPA, LPI, and UL guidelines to withstand hurricane force winds.