LIGHTNING SAFETY RULES

All thunderstorms produce lightning, by definition. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck. Move inside. It doesn/t have to be raining yet since lightning can strike 10 to 15 miles away from the rain portion of the storm. These lightning strokes come out of the upper portions of the thunderstorm cloud which extends 5 to 10 miles into the atmosphere.

In general, lightning will travel the easiest route from the cloud to ground which means that it often strikes the tallest object. Therefore, a simple rule is to not make yourself the tallest object or stand near the tallest object in your immediate surrounding. For instance, do not stand in an open field, on a beach, or on a hilltop. Do not stand under an isolated or large tree or near a pole, and do not stay out on a boat. If you are in a forest, you should seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees. If you are in a group of people, spread out keeping several yards apart from each other.

Stay away from metal objects such as fences, poles, equipment, pipes, etc. Get rid of metal objects on your body such as coins, money clips, hair pins, jewelry, etc. Stay away from water. Inside, stay away from electrical appliances,

Televisions, and telephones. Only use the phone in an emergency.

If you feel your hair stand on end, you are in immediate danger of being struck. Unless you can instantly jump inside a shelter, drop to a crouching position, bending forward and keeping your feet close together with your hands on your knees. The object is to be as low to the ground as possible, but with as little of your body surface touching the ground.

Persons struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely. Lightning often has a paralyzing effect that is temporary. Even though a person appears dead, he or she may be resuscitated. If a victim is not breathing, immediately start mouth to mouth resuscitation every 5 seconds for adults and children. If a person is not breathing AND there is no pulse, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or cpr, must be administered. This is a combination of mouth to mouth resuscitation and external cardiac compression, and should only be undertaken by persons with proper training.

Here are some fallacies and facts,

1. Fallacy, lightning never strikes twice in the same place,

Fact, there are numerous documented cases of multiple lightning strikes in the same place.

2. Fallacy, the rubber soles of your shoes or the rubber tires on a car will protect you from being injured by lightning.

Fact, rubber soled shoes and rubber tires provide no protection from lightning. However the steel frame of a hard topped vehicle will protect you, if you are not touching metal. If your car is struck by lightning, you may suffer injuries and your car may be damaged, but you are enormously safer than if you are outside.

3. Fallacy, you can tell the distance to lightning by counting 1 second per mile after the thunder.

Fact, it takes Sound 5 seconds for Sound to travel 1 mile. So, count 5 seconds for one mile, 10 seconds for 2 miles, etc.