How to protect yourself from a lightning strike


It is possible for lightning to strike a human. When lightning discharges, it follows the path of least resistance, which can include a person if they happen to be in the vicinity. However, it’s important to note that direct lightning strikes on humans are relatively rare.

To protect oneself from a lightning strike, it is crucial to follow proper safety guidelines and take precautions during thunderstorms. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Seek Shelter: When thunderstorms are in the area, find a safe indoor location. A substantial building with wiring and plumbing, including a house or an enclosed vehicle, provides a good level of protection. Avoid small structures, open shelters, and isolated trees.
  2. Stay Away from Water: Avoid bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, or pools, as water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Also, avoid taking showers or using sinks during a thunderstorm, as lightning can travel through plumbing.
  3. Stay Indoors: Stay away from windows, doors, and electrical appliances. Lightning can surge through conductive materials, including metal frames, electrical systems, and plumbing.
  4. Don’t Use Corded Phones: Corded phones can conduct electricity, so it’s best to avoid using them during a thunderstorm. Use mobile phones instead.
  5. Stay Clear of Outdoor Areas: If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm, seek shelter in a substantial building or a hard-topped metal vehicle. Avoid open fields, hilltops, high places, isolated trees, and metal objects like fences or poles.
  6. Avoid Conductive Items: Stay away from objects that can conduct electricity, such as bicycles, golf clubs, umbrellas, and metal equipment.
  7. Follow Weather Warnings: Pay attention to weather forecasts and warnings issued by local authorities. If there is a thunderstorm warning, take it seriously and follow the recommended safety precautions.

If you are in an open area and cannot find shelter during a thunderstorm, you should crouch down with your feet close together, minimizing contact with the ground. This position reduces the chance of a lightning current flowing through your body.

It’s important to note that these precautions can help reduce the risk of lightning strikes, but they cannot provide complete protection. Lightning is a powerful natural phenomenon, and seeking appropriate shelter is the best way to stay safe during thunderstorms.

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