Many people are fascinated by thunderstorms and there’s nothing quite as inspirational as watching lightning strike right before your very eyes. Unfortunately, though beautiful, lightning can also be extremely deadly. On average, in just the United States alone, 67 people die each year as a result of getting struck by lightning. Pretty scary when you think about it, isn’t it?
The truth is that most of these deaths could have easily been prevented had the individuals been educated on the importance of staying safe during thunderstorms. If you’re ready for survival, check out the tips below!
Seeking The Right Shelter Indoors And Outdoors
The moment you notice that lightning is lighting up the sky, try to find shelter if you’re outside. Many people wait until the last possible moment to get to safety, and that can be deadly! Stay away from power lines as they conduct electricity and never stand under or near a tree.
If you’re hiking, stay inside a cavern or stand near a stone structure as lightning won’t strike there. Another option, if you’re in the city, is to step inside an inhabited building and wait out the storm. Most modern buildings are actually equipped with lightning rods to help redirect the lightning strikes. And, if all else fails, get inside your car and roll up all of the windows as your car acts as a natural Faraday cage.
Safety Tips For Indoors
Now that you’re indoors, you may think that you’re actually safe. The fact is, you can still be affected by a thunderstorm. The first step to protecting yourself is to stay away from windows as they can help electricity travel indoors. Stay in the inner rooms of your home or try to find a spot away from any openings.
While the storm is raging outside, do not touch anything electrical! That means stay away from your landline phone, electrical outlets, and don’t start using any appliances in your home. You should never unplug appliances during the storm as the electrical currents can travel through to your body.
It’s also wise to avoid concrete floors as most concrete contains a wire mesh to help hold its shape. In addition, stay out of the bathtub or the shower. When you start to recognize the signs of a storm easing up, wait at least 30 minutes to head back outside to stay on the safe side of things.
Survival Tactics For The Outdoors
There are certain circumstances that leave you stranded outdoors during a thunderstorm. If this is indeed the case and you can’t seek momentary shelter, start by minimizing the risks.
The first step is to move to a lower elevation as lightning tends to strike objects that are elevated. Large open spaces are extremely dangerous as are isolated trees that dot the horizon. Basically, you don’t want to be near anything that’s metal or put yourself in a location where you’re the tallest object.
Lastly, if you’re fishing or swimming outdoors when the storm starts, get out of the water as soon as possible. Water can be extremely dangerous during a storm and you can be electrocuted. Run as far away from the water source as you can.
Plan Ahead For Safety
The best way to minimize any potential safety risks is to simply watch the weather forecast and plan your summer activities accordingly. If you do end up leaving home, watch the skies for any signs of an impending storm. Dark clouds rolling in is always a good sign that a thunderstorm may be in the works.
Many people live in an area that’s prone to lightning storms. If this is a case, you can protect your family and your property by having a professional lightning rod installed. Keep in mind, this is not something you should take a DIY approach to as it can actually make things worse if it was installed incorrectly.
Lastly, if someone you know has been hit by lightning, call 911 immediately to get the right help. Don’t attempt anything on your own as the affected person may still be a conductor for electrical currents, and as we all know, electricity can travel and lightning can strike the same place twice.