Lightning strikes in southwest Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lightning strikes in southwest Georgia

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Georgia's Emergency Management Agency is continuing to encourage folks this week to get prepared for severe weather. Thursday's topic focuses on lightning safety which is the state's third highest weather-related cause of death.

Lightning strikes the ground an estimated 25 million times each year in the United States, and all too often the consequences are deadly.

It has the potential to travel more than 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. That's why officials with the state's "Ready Georgia Campaign" are urging people to learn to "30/30" rule. If you hear thunder less than 30 seconds after you see lightning, go indoors and stay there at least 30 minutes after you hear the last thunder. Experts say this rule can come in handy when an unexpected lightning strike moves into your area.

"It is important that once you hear the thunder, you need to seek shelter as soon as you hear it and never seek shelter under a tree. You want to go into a home. You don't want to be under a tree and you don't want to be in an open area either. Those are two things you don't want to do," says WALB Meteorologist Chris Zelman.

Officials also want to clear up a common misconception about carrying for someone who's been hit by lightning

Even if someone has been struck, they carry no electrical charge and performing CPR or rescue breathing is completely safe for you and the patient.

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