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Summer is the time for swimming, barbecues and other outdoor activities for our Southern Oaks Apartment residents, but these activitiesID-1005589 come with a  risk.  Lightning.  Lightning is a deadly by-product of thunderstorms, which are common in Georgia, particularly in the spring and summer. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), lightning is the No. 2 weather-related killer in the state. Moreover, people struck by lightning can suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression and an inability to sit for long periods of time.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 21-27, and we urge all residents to take precautions to avoid being struck by lightning.

Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors. Be informed of the most current local weather forecasts and stay alert for signs of approaching thunderstorms. Lightning is nature’s warning signal that a thunderstorm is in its most violent state and that you should seek shelter immediately.

To help Southern Oaks residents prepare for thunderstorms and lightning, here are some great tips:

Before Lightning Strikes

  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts, or download the Ready Georgia mobile app.
  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder. If you hear thunder, postpone outdoor activities.
  • Learn the 30/30 rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

When a Storm Approaches

  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. (Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job.

Protect Yourself Outside

  • 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.
  • Be a very small target! Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground. This will make you a larger target.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.

After the Storm Passes

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio or television for information and instructions.

If Someone is Struck by Lightning

  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1.

We want all our Southern Oaks Apartment residents to be safe and enjoy the outdoors during these summer months here in Stone Mountain GA.

Image courtesy of Jennifer Ellison at FreeDigitalPhotos.net