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Lightning Strike Survivor Shares Story

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815

Note: For photos and for additional quotes and information, please contact Kyla Kruse, kekruse@energyedcouncil.org, 217-546-6815

 

Lightning Strike Survivor Shares Story

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., June 25, 2012 -- It only takes one lightning strike to change a person’s life forever. Tamara Pandolph-Peary of Chatham, Illinois learned this the hard way in 2010.
After work on a rainy day, Tamara, a store manager, offered to get her van and take employees to their cars. As Tamara put her hand on the van door, she saw a bright light bounce off of her umbrella. The next thing she remembers is sitting in her van and being confused about how she got there.
Over the next few days, it became clear that all was not well with Tamara. When people talked to her, their words sounded garbled and did not make sense. She had difficulties remembering people and how to do simple things like preparing recipes.
Tamara recovered her ability to understand speech but struggles with other effects of the lightning strike. She has found hope by supporting other lightning strike survivors and is working with the Safe Electricity program during Lightning Awareness Week (June 24-30) to share her story and educate others. “It’s changed my life. It’s changed the lives of everyone around me. It may seem like a one in a million chance, but it is not a risk worth taking,” she says.
Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm, so if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. The best policy is to plan ahead so you do not get caught outside in a storm. However, if you cannot take shelter in a building, take the following precautions:
· Take shelter in a vehicle with a solid metal roof. Close the windows, and avoid contact with electrical conducting paths, such as the steering wheel, gear shifter, or radio.
· Avoid water, high ground, and open spaces.
· Do not seek shelter in open-frame shelters or vehicles such as golf carts.
· Do not stand near poles, metal fences or bleachers, trees, or even other people (spread out 20 ft. apart).
Wait until 30 minutes has passed without lightning or thunder until you return outside.
For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.

 

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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.