Staying safe when lightning strikes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Staying safe when lightning strikes

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Lightning - it looks beautiful,  but it's dangerous and just because it's Winter doesn't mean that it can't happen here.

"It can strike and you just don't know where it's coming from," said Jim Vaught, the Director of Dougherty County Emergency Management.

With this being Severe Weather Awareness Week, Georgia Emergency Managers are promoting a simple rule.  They call it the 30 30 rule.

"If you can't count to 30 before you hear the thunder, get inside and once you're inside wait 30 minutes until after you hear the last thunderclap," said Vaught.

Even when you do get inside, you still need to do some things to keep yourself safe.

"You don't want to take a bath or shower during a lightning storm.  You don't want to stand at the window and look outside," said Vaught.

But being anywhere inside is better than being caught everywhere outside, and there's one place that especially dangerous.

Any outdoor sport is dangerous during a thunderstorm but there's no sport more dangerous when the thunder rumbles than golf.

The reasons that golf courses are dangerous is obvious.  Ed Everett, the Director of Golf at Doublegate Country Club tells us what they are:  "you've got the tall trees out in open spaces.  You've got your golf clubs.  And the worst thing you think about it...all the bathrooms are in the trees to camouflage them."

With that in mind, courses like Doublegate have safety systems in place to make sure that players on the course know when there is bad weather around.   "we've got four sirens that go off."

But ultimately the players themselves have to decide when to stop if they hear the thunder roll.

"We sound the sirens and it's up to them they can still quit anytime they want to.  Most of them do, they don't like lightning," said Everett.

Everett has some great advice for anyone who likes outdoor sports, whether it's golf or not.

"I can play another day down here," he said.

The kind of advice that will keep you playing for many more rounds to come.

Vaught says that Dougherty County has a complete list of lightning safety tips on it's web site. You can see them by clicking here.

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