Severe Weather Awareness Week: Lightning Safety

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Lightning Safety

GEORGIA (WTOC) - Thursday is the fourth day of Severe Weather Awareness Week and we're looking at the risk that lightning poses and easy ways to keep yourself safe as a thunderstorm approaches.

Thunderstorms are a common occurrence around the globe.

A single thunderstorm can produce thousands of lightning strikes through the course of its lifespan. There are several types of lightning that commonly occur with these storms; cloud-to-ground, cloud-to-cloud, etc.

Lightning can strike several miles outside of a thunderstorm. If you are close enough to hear thunder, you are also close enough to be struck by lightning. On average, 300 people were struck by lightning annually in the United States between 2007 and 2016. Of those struck, an average of 30 people were killed after being struck, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"When thunder roars, move indoors."

If you're stuck outside during a storm, make yourself as small as possible. Standing at a lower height, with less exposed surface area reduces the risk of being struck by lightning.

If you are inside, avoid the use of a land-line phone, getting near windows or coming into contact with objects that could transport an electric current in the event your home is struck by lightning.

Emergency officials stress having a plan for your family as well as the importance of having an emergency kit. They say the kit can be smaller and easier than most people realize.

"Have that disaster kit on hand, should you need it; medications, some food, some water, a battery-powered radio," said Ted Wynn, Bulloch County Public Safety Director.

Download the WTOC Weather App for alerts notifying you when lightning has been detected in your area.

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