SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s day four of Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Georgia and Storm Team 3 is focusing on lightning safety.
A photo that’s been passed around for decades serves as a reminder for just how serious lightning can be.
In the picture, two grinning brothers are standing side by side with their hair standing on end. What they did not know then is hair like that and tingling skin may be signs of an imminent lightning strike.
A triple-pronged bolt hit the brothers, knocking them unconscious. While they miraculously survived with third-degree burns, another man hit by the same bolt did not.
If it’s not possible to immediately seek shelter during a storm, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet in order to make yourself the smallest target possible.
Then as soon as possible — get out of the area.
Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. On average, 47 people in the U.S. are killed by lightning and hundreds more are severely injured.
In 2019, the total number of lightning fatalities was 20. The youngest victim, just 12 years old, was playing under trees near his house.
During a thunderstorm, no place outside is safe. As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, get indoors and stay away from windows.
But even then, lightning can still be dangerous.
Lightning strikes can lead to power outages, fires and damage to homes or businesses.
At WSAV on Victory Drive, we get struck by lightning multiple times a year. One of the main reasons is the huge tower standing in the middle of our parking lot.
When we get hit by lightning, it can cause thousands and thousands of dollars in damage.
That’s why we’ve invested more than $100,000 in lightning protection — so if we get zapped, we can still stay on the air.
Just remember: when thunder roars, go indoors. Too many people wait far too long to get to a safe place when thunderstorms approach and delayed actions can lead to injuries and even death.