Severe Weather Week: Lightning Safety

- All week the FOX 5 Storm Team is noting Georgia Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and the need for Georgian to be prepared now ahead of a severe storm.

Each day has a different theme. Thursday's is Lightning Safety.

If you're close enough to hear thunder, you're close enough to be struck by lightning. When thunder roars, go indoors! The 30/30 rule is one of the most important tips to keep you and your family safe. If it takes less than 30 seconds to hear thunder after seeing a flash of lightning, it is near enough to pose a threat. Once you can no longer hear thunder, wait 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities. If you want to get an estimate of how far away a lightning strike is from your location, count the number of seconds it takes to hear thunder and for every 5 seconds, it equals one mile. 

Learn more about the FOX 5 Storm Team app


The first thing you want to do is have a way to receive watches and warnings as they are issued. The best way to do that is to have a fully charged smartphone, and download the FOX 5 Storm Team App. Once you do so, go into settings and allow the App to send you push notifications and turn on the location service. That way your smartphone will alert you of watches and warnings no matter where you are. If you don't have a smartphone purchase a NOAA Weather Radio and make sure you program it for your county. 

What to do if lightning is near you:

  • Stay away from windows, and remain indoors
  • Don’t seek shelter under a tree, find a shelter
  • If you can't get indoors, crouch low, with as little of your body touching the ground to minimize your surface area
  • Avoid water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through plumbing

We feel confident that if you do all of the above, you will reduce your chances of being struck by lightning. 


Lightning Facts: 

  • A lightning flash is no more than one-inch wide. 
  • Lightning appears to flicker because it may actually be up to four different strokes in the exact same place.
  • Lightning kills and injures more people each year than hurricanes or tornadoes; between 75 to 100 people. 
  • Lightning is approximately 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's five times hotter than the surface of the sun!
  • Lightning seems to be clear or white-yellow color, but it also depends on the background.
  • During the summer months, you can see lightning up to 100 miles away (This is not called 'heat lightning') 


Keep up with the latest watches and warnings by downloading the FREE FOX 5 Storm Team app and following @FOX5StormTeam on Twitter.


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