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Lightning Safety in Georgia

July 16, 2015

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 243 men and 61 women have died in the United States from lightning strikes since 2006. On top of that, hundreds more sustain lightning injuries such as lifelong neurological damage.

So far this year, 7 months into 2015, there have been 17 deaths due to lightning in this country. These deaths occurred while people were doing mundane, everyday tasks such as fishing, walking the dog, hiking and even playing volleyball. Around 50% of these deaths occurred in states surrounding Georgia:

  • 2 in North Carolina
  • 3 in Florida
  • 3 in Alabama

Lightning should not be taken…lightly (no pun intended). Because of this, the NWS debunks a few lightning myths. If you don’t have time to read their entire list, check out some of the highlights here:

  • Lightning can (and usually does) strike in the same place
  • Even if it’s not raining, lightning can still strike
  • If you’re in your car when lightning strikes, do NOT touch or lean on the car doors
  • Lightning favors items that are tall, pointy and isolated (the Empire State Building gets struck over 100 times a year!)

When lightning poses a danger, try to find a building with walls and a roof, or a hard topped vehicle. Let’s work together to decrease the number of lightning fatalities.

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Interactive Web Content Manager for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with degrees in Visual Communication and History.

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