How to protect yourself from lightning? – 1 part

How to protect yourself from lightning? – 1 part
4 April, 2023

Very often, people worry more about the security of their buildings and facilities than their own lives. An interesting fact is that lightning strikes are more common before and immediately after a thunderstorm. Even when it is 10 miles away, there is a risk of being struck by lightning.

You are not protected anywhere. Large open spaces such as golf courses, meadows, beaches and playgrounds are often the most dangerous. In the USA alone, over the last 30 years, an average of 67 people have died from lightning per year, and in Bulgaria the number is about 57. Most deaths are related to ignoring the warnings of forecasters.

If all of this sounds disturbing to you, it's time to think about your own safety. In this article, we at Blitz Guard will share with you how to protect yourself in various circumstances.

How to protect yourself from lightning? – 1 part

What are the risks?

You may think that lightning is always deadly, or that there is no chance that it will strike you. The truth is that 90% of people survive but remember the terrible pain they experienced.

In a lightning strike, the temperature is higher than the surface of the sun and it passes through you in less than a second. People may experience short-term or long-term effects of the stroke - cardiac arrest, confusion, seizures, dizziness, muscle aches, headaches, memory deficits. More serious consequences are cataracts of the eyes and ruptured eardrums, which can damage hearing for life.

The chance of this happening to you is less than 1 in a million, but it's not impossible.

There are some factors that may put you at greater risk. Lightning most often strikes people who work outside or engage in outdoor recreational activities - entertainers, tour guides, salespeople at amusement centers, and others.

Regional and seasonal differences can also affect the risk of lightning injuries. For example, Florida is considered the "lightning capital" because over 2000 people have been injured in the last 50 years, and in 2021. it was there that there were the most deaths.

How to protect yourself from lightning? – 1 part

Precautions when outdoors.

We recommend that you always check the weather forecast before going outside. This way you can plan your trips without having to worry about being in the vicinity of a storm.

If you are already outside, seek shelter immediately. The key to minimizing the danger is to enter a protected structure - a house, apartment or office building. Occupied buildings are best because they are grounded and have lightning protection.

If you can't find such a structure, get into a car with a metal roof. Even if struck, the metal parts will conduct electricity around you, not through you. So make sure all windows and doors are closed. Be careful - do not touch metal and do not use the radio.

Unfortunately, most people delay hiding from the storm because they do not realize the danger they are exposed to. Experts say that if you hear the sound of lightning, then they are close enough to you and there is a real danger of being hit.

Don't wait until the last minute to find a safe place!

To protect yourself from lightning outdoors, we recommend:

  • If you are in the mountains, immediately get off high places such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks.
  • Do not lie on the ground. Squat into a ball-like position with your head tucked and hands behind your ears so you have minimal contact with the ground.
  • Never stand under a tall or low tree. Also avoid proximity to power lines - barbed wire fences, windmills and others. Both are excellent conductors of electricity and can potentially attract lightning.
  • Do not stand near lakes or other bodies of water.
  • If you are in a group of several people, separate yourself from each other. Stay as far away from others as possible as this will reduce the number of people injured if lightning strikes the ground.
  • If you are out at sea and a storm hits, return to shore immediately.
  • Avoid open vehicles such as motorcycles, golf carts, bicycles and convertibles.
  • Open structures such as gazebos, bus stops, playgrounds and sports arenas are not good shelter. Their structures are open and cannot protect you.
  • Stay away from tall structures such as telephone poles. Lightning usually strikes the highest object.

These are just some of the measures you can take to ensure your safety. Don't forget that your pets are also at risk. Do not leave them outdoors or tied to the fence!

Stay tuned to our blog, because in the next part of the article we will share with you how to protect yourself when you are indoors.

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