When lightning strikes go inside - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

When lightning strikes go inside

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

July 6, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - We've all heard the joke "you have a better chance of being hit by lightning," but making sure you take the proper precautions during a thunder storm is no laughing matter.

"A thunderstorm by its very nature is going to produce lightning. So the big question is not if, but how much," said AMS Meteorologist, Jay Polk.

And that is why when you hear thunder, you need to immediately go inside. "Whenever you hear thunder, even if it's off in the distance, lightning can strike at least 10 miles away. So you are still in danger of getting struck by lightening from ten miles away," said Dougherty County Paramedic, Tammye Atkinson.

Once you are indoors you need to avoid anything that can conduct electricity. "You don't want to be on a corded phone. Anything electrical, a computer, anything with wires or has electricity going through it. Avoid showers or tubes, anything with water. Stay away from it," said Atkinson.

Most lightening strikes are not fatal. "Cardiac arrest, you can have severe burns, and nerve damage. Those are the things that could happen to you after a strike," said Atkinson.

And in case someone around you does get hit, "first thing you need to do is call 911," said Atkinson. Paramedics say you than need to see that person is breathing. "If they are not breathing go ahead and start CPR on them. You are not going to get injured by giving CPR to someone who has been struck by lightening," said Atkinson.

But if you hear thunder, "You are close enough to get hit so you need to seek shelter," said Polk, or you could get burned. You also should wait 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder before going back outside.

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