E.M.A. officials encourage lightning safety - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

E.M.A. officials encourage lightning safety

September 2, 2003

Lowndes County - It's a common site around South Georgia this time of year, afternoon showers bringing thunder and lightning. But those bright bolts in the sky have deadly consequences. "It is our greatest potential for a weather hazard in Lowndes County," said E.M.A. Director Nick Lacey.

Being aware of the changing weather around you and taking a few safety precautions will keep you from becoming a victim. First and foremost, if you see lightning, find shelter. "A building, home, or even if you can get in a vehicle, that should protect you," said Lacey.

Lacey says being outdoors, especially on any sort of playing field, makes you a human lightning rod. "If you're on top of a hill or on any sort of golf course, it'd be best to move down to lower land and don't be near any isolated trees," said Lacey.

And the old practice of counting after seeing lightning to find out how far away it is won't keep you safe. "That tells you the distance of the past lightning strike, but not the next one," said Lacey.

If a person is struck by lightning, you should call 9-1-1 and administer CPR. until paramedics arrive. Most all emergency vehicles now carry automatic defibrillators that are a key in treating lightning strike victims. "It measures that amount of rhythmic activity and tells us whether to continue CPR of shock them," said Lt. Dean Cone, Valdosta Fire Department.

Although lightning is most common during the summer months, it can strike at anytime. But staying alert to the changing weather environment and taking proper shelter will help you avoid the deadly consequences.

posted at 5:45 by ashley.harper@walb.com

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