Lightning: Respect the Danger, Don’t Become a Victim
Now that thunderstorm season has arrived, always keep in mind that you become a potential victim whenever a thunderstorm is approaching. Having the proper respect for lightning and knowing a few simple rules can minimize your chances of being struck. Indeed many of us are fearful of lightning and for good reason.
These giant sparks of high voltage electricity are extremely dangerous and can kill a person instantly. The more fortunate consequences of being struck include permanent damage to one’s nervous system, paralysis and burn marks on your skin caused by static electricity flowing through blood vessels.
Here’s the cardinal rule to follow to minimize or even prevent being struck by lightning: As soon as you can hear thunder get indoors way from windows, water, electrical appliances and the kitchen sink and remain indoors until the storm has passed and you can no longer hear thunder. It’s that simple.
Unfortunately most of use never desire to follow the rule simply because we feel the odds of being struck are so very low. We may not bother getting inside until the wind driven rain has arrived and that’s foolish.
Know that a lightning bolt can travel horizontal through the air for many miles and that lightning always comes before thunder. The distant rumbles of thunder are a sign that the storm is close enough for the lightning to strike where you are.
Count the number of seconds between the time you see a bolt or flash of lightning and hear the thunder. Divide that number by 5 and that’s how many miles away the lightning is.
Incidentally you are safe in your car, truck or SUV but not because of the rubber tires. It’s the metal frame of the vehicle that will transport the deadly current around you and safely into the ground. A lightning rod on a rooftop can do this as well.
So let’s not be stubborn and foolish with an attitude that it just won’t happen to me.