In honor of Lightning Safety Week, which runs through June 30, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia campaign is encouraging residents to prepare for severe thunderstorms and lightning, particularly since Georgia is one of the most at-risk states.
The key to remaining safe is knowing what to do before the severe weather strikes. Ready Georgia recommends the following tips:
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
- If a storm does approach, find shelter in a sturdy building or hard top automobile. Keep all windows closed.
- Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.
- Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any purpose. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will help prevent glass from shattering into your home.
- Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job.
- If you are caught outside and cannot find shelter, go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
- Is someone is struck by lightning, they carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely. Call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number. Learn first aid and CPR by taking an American Red Cross first aid and CPR course; call your local Red Cross chapter for class schedules and fees.
- For more information, visit www.ready.ga.gov.
It’s also crucial to monitor storms by following local forecasts and purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio. Ready Georgia is currently hosting a contest for the chance to win a free weather radio. Visit www.ready.ga.gov and create a Ready profile for a chance to win. For preparedness on the go, download the free Ready Georgia mobile app.