Lightning precautions- staying safe during a thunderstorm - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lightning precautions- staying safe during a thunderstorm

Lightning might look pretty, but it is one of the leading causes for weather related deaths in the United States. (Source: Raycom Media) Lightning might look pretty, but it is one of the leading causes for weather related deaths in the United States. (Source: Raycom Media)
A single lightning bolt can strike from 15 miles away and is hotter than the surface of the sun. (Source: Raycom) A single lightning bolt can strike from 15 miles away and is hotter than the surface of the sun. (Source: Raycom)
First Alert Meteorologist Chris Zelman suggests getting inside a vehicle if you can't be in a building during a lightning storm. (Source: WALB) First Alert Meteorologist Chris Zelman suggests getting inside a vehicle if you can't be in a building during a lightning storm. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

We are at the beginning of severe season, but lightning can strike any day of the year.

Our First Alert Weather Team, and the National Weather Service, want you to be prepared when storms hit.

30 Georgians have died In the past 20 years from lightning strikes. 

A single lightning bolt can reach 50,000°F, which is hotter than the surface of the sun.

As a general rule, if you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning.

Lightning bolts can strike up to 15 miles from a thunderstorm.

If you are outside during a thunderstorm avoid tall trees, open fields and spread out if you are in a group.

The inside of a vehicle is also a safe place to ride out a lightning storm.

"Inside you've got plastic, rubber, and all kinds of insulators. That keeps you protected, the lightning hits the top of roof and all the lightning goes around it and you are actually protected," said First Alert Meteorologist Chris Zelman.

Remember that a car is only safe during a lightning storm and not a Tornado Warning. 

More lightning safety tips:

  • If you are in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
  • If you are outside, and feel your hair stand on end, this indicates lightning is about to strike. Drop to your knees and roll forward to the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees and tuck your head down. Do not lie flat on the ground.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land as quickly as possible.
  • If you are inside, don't use a telephone or other electrical equipment unless in an emergency.
  • Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.

For more information on lightning safety and facts, click here.

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