Emergency Management

Posted on: February 8, 2018

Day Four of Severe Weather Preparedness Week: Lightning


Did you know that from 1995 to 2010, lightning caused the death of 30 Georgia residents who were caught outside during a summer storm event? Individuals that survive lightning strikes have been known to develop lifelong physical and mental impacts from the 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit bolt passing through them.  Even inside a building, lightning can still have an impact by traveling through metal fixtures, pipes, or wires found in some structures.

What to do during a lightning storm:

*       If you notice an approaching thunderstorm, be aware of flashes in the sky, increased wind, and the sound of thunder. If you already hear thunder in your area, move to shelter immediately. This shelter can be in is your home, a nearby building, or hard body vehicle.

*       If you do shelter in your vehicle, make sure it has a metal or hardtop roof and that you avoid contact with any metal surfaces inside the vehicle.

*       If you find yourself in a shelter during a lightning storm, be sure to adhere to the 30/30 rule: stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after the storm ends before resuming your outdoor activities. Also, if it takes less than 30 seconds to hear thunder after seeing a flash of lightning, the lightning is near enough to you to pose a threat.

*       If you are unable to find shelter, do not stand under a tree or open structure, such as an outdoor pavilion; you could be potentially struck by lightning or have objects fall on you. Instead, find a low lying area, where no water has collected, and make yourself as small as possible. Squat low to the ground and place your hands over your head in case of windblown debris. Never lie flat on the ground.

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