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Reporter Workshop: Lightning Safety Awareness Week Makes News

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 -
10:00am to 2:00pm
ESSIC/5825 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740

Lightning science and safety sessions will provide stories that can help protect people and property

You are invited to a Lightning Safety Awareness Week workshop at the University of Maryland’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) in College Park, Md. This workshop will provide fresh leads on stories about how researchers and organizations are building lightning-safe communities in the Mid-Atlantic region. Presenters will describe their innovative steps to help protect people and property from this all-too-common weather hazard. You will have time for interviews with the presenters and can participate in a rooftop tour of the building's lightning protection equipment.

What: On-the-record workshop for media in the D.C. and Baltimore regions with brief presentations and panel discussions that offer potential story leads related to protecting people and property from lightning. This event coincides with Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 22-28) to maximize its impact and relevance.

Who:  Participants will hear from lightning science and safety experts who work at the University of Maryland, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Lightning Protection Institute, Insurance Information Institute, Lightning Safety Alliance, Earth Networks, and Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.

When:             Tuesday, June 24, 2014

10:00 am         Welcome and introduction

10:15 am         Short presentations on:

                        The “Building Lightning Safe Communities” Initiative
                        Lightning Safety at Sporting Venues
                        Lightning Losses and Insurance Costs
                        Tracking Dangerous Storms Using Lightning Observations
                        Dispelling Lightning Safety Myths

11:30 am         Break; Speakers available for interviews

12:00 pm         Catered lunch

12:00 pm         Panel discussion – Protecting People

12:30 pm         Panel discussion – Protecting Property

  1:00 pm         Rooftop tour (optional)

  1:00 pm         One-hour continuing education course (optional)

A detailed agenda with speaker information is provided below.

Where: University of Maryland Research Park
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
5825 University Research Court, Suite 4001
College Park, MD 20740-3823
Directions: http://ter.ps/5q4
Free Parking Available

Please RSVP by Friday, June 20 at http://ter.ps/lightning

Please contact Abby Robinson at abbyr@umd.edu or 301.405.5845 if you have any questions.


Detailed Agenda

10:00 am         Welcome and introduction – Prof. Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm (CICS Executive Director)

10:15 am         Presentations

  • Announcing the “Building Lightning Safe Communities” Initiative
    Kim Loehr, Communications Director, Lightning Protection Institute
  • Lightning Safety at Sporting Venues
    Charles Woodrum, Program Coordination Officer/Meteorologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service
  • Lightning Losses and Insurance Costs
    Jeanne Salvatore, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, and Chief Communications Officer, Insurance Information Institute
  • Tracking Dangerous Storms Using Lightning Observations
    Scott Rudlosky, Physical Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Maryland
  • Dispelling Lightning Safety Myths
    Donna Franklin, Lightning Safety Awareness Team Lead, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service 

11:30 am         Break; Speakers available for interviews

12:00 pm         Catered lunch provided

12:00 pm         Panel Discussion – Protecting People

Moderator: Abby Robinson, University of Maryland

  • Scott Rudlosky, Physical Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Maryland
  • Charles Woodrum, Program Coordination Officer/Meteorologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service
  • Donna Franklin, Lightning Safety Awareness Team Lead, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service
  • Allie Hall, Director of Facilities, Operations & Events, University of Maryland Athletics
  • Frank McCathran, Director, Enterprise Solutions, Earth Networks-WeatherBug

12:30 pm         Panel Discussion – Protecting Property

Moderator: Kim Loehr, Lightning Protection Institute

  • Jennifer Morgan, Education Coordinator, Lightning Safety Alliance
  • Jeanne Salvatore, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, and Chief Communications Officer, Insurance Information Institute
  • Tim Smail, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technical Programs, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
  • Phil Youtsey, Board of Directors, Lightning Protection Institute Inspection Program 

1:00 pm           Optional rooftop tour to observe our structural lightning protection, narrated by the Lightning Safety Alliance. 

1:00 pm           Optional one-hour continuing education course “Lightning Protection 101” for architects, engineers, risk managers, fire safety managers conducted by Lightning Safety Alliance. This course is an American Institute of Architects registered continuing education course.