Use common sense around storms

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, June 22, 2017

Next week in Georgia is Lightning Safety Awareness week in Georgia, and it couldn’t come at a more perfect time.

The last few weeks have seen storm after storm roll through Troup County. This week we can thank Tropical Depression Cindy for all of the rain we’ve had the last two days, while also being thankful we were spared the destruction of other cities in the south, such as Birmingham, Alabama and parts of Louisiana.

Hopefully, brighter and sunnier days are ahead, but even if they are, one thing is for sure — at some point, stormy days will return.

Lightning has caused 305 deaths in the United States since 2007 and in Georgia it remains a common weather-related killer. On average, it kills one to two people in the state every year, according to the Ready Georgia campaign.

The campaign recommends finding shelter in a building or car and keeping car windows closed when a storm approached. If there’s no shelter, go to the lowest area nearby and squat, but do not lie flat on the ground. Obviously, if you are on the water, get to land immediately and find some kind of shelter.

If those sound like common sense, it’s because they are. Unfortunately, many of us walk around with the “that won’t happen to me attitude” and ignore the statistics.

When severe weather impacts the area, make sure to have a way to get weather information, but if you don’t, be sensible. If there’s lightning in the sky, get to a safe location until the storm passes.