Peak lightning season is here - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Peak lightning season is here

State Farm Agent Tim Thomas State Farm Agent Tim Thomas
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

As we spend more time outside, lightning is something we should all be concerned about. Afternoon thunderstorms can pop-up at any moment during the summer months. Unexpected storms can cause mayhem if you're stranded outside.

You should be familiar with the saying "When you hear thunder, take cover." But sometimes storms blow up all of a sudden making it difficult to seek shelter.

Emergency authorities want you to have a plan. "We encourage people to follow the thirty-thirty rule. That means if you see lightning and you can't count to thirty go inside and stay inside for 30 minutes. The chances are if you can see and hear lightning that you can actually be struck it may be miles away but it can still actually strike you," said Jim Vaught, Deputy Director for Albany and Dougherty EMA and 911 communication center. So far there have been seven fatalities from lightning this year nationwide, and more than half of them have been near bodies of water.

Boaters on Lake Worth tell us they take lightning danger seriously. "We just try to get like we said nearest docks or shelter or there's a lot of empty docks you can probably get up under or bridges," said fisherman Scott Holland.

Lightning can also cause damage in multiple ways around your house, that is why everyone should be prepared for the worst. "You are going to have a surge of things knocked out...the microwave, the air conditioner, the telephone, the televisions, the computers those are all common things that are struck by lightning. And again the easiest way to protect those is surge protectors," said State Farm Agent Tim Thomas.

Before lightning strikes your house, make sure all of the trees around your home are properly trimmed, your electrical system is up to date and your electronic devices correctly installed. Last year there were a total of 28 deaths from lightning strikes around the country and only one was in Georgia.

Though State Farm Insurance says Georgia is number one in lightning damage insurance claims. The peak months for lightning fatalities are June, July, and August.

 

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