- Electricity To Ground
- Family Disaster Supply Kit
- Generator Safety
- Lightning Facts
- Residental Safety Checklist
- If Shocked Or Burned By Elec
Inclement Weather: Lightning Facts
If you are inside when a storm is approaching, be sure to unplug all appliances including the air conditioner prior to the storm hitting. Lightning causes power surges and can damage your appliances. In addition to unplugging appliances, phone use should also be avoided during thunderstorms because telephone lines can also conduct electricity. Another conductor of electricity is metal. Because metal pipes run to our sinks, faucets and bathtubs, these areas should be avoided during a thunderstorm.
If you are outside when a storm approaches, immediately take cover. If possible take cover in a building. If there is no shelter around, find a low-lying, open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles, or metal objects that can conduct electricity. Squat low to the ground, place your hands on your knees with your head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of your body to the ground as possible. Do not lie flat on the ground, as your fully extended body will provide a larger surface to conduct electricity. If you feel your hair stand on end in a storm, drop into the tuck position described above immediately. This sensation means electric charges are already rushing up your body from the ground toward an electrically charged cloud. Minimize your contact with the ground to minimize your injury. You should also watch for local flooding during thunderstorms.
Many myths exist about lightning and lightning safety, below are some of those myths.
“Lightning always strikes the tallest object.” False! Lightning strikes the best conductor on the ground, not necessarily the tallest object. In some cases, the best conductor might be a human being.
“A car’s rubber tires give protection from lightning.” False! Actually, the car itself is very well insulated and offers more protection than being outside in the storm. Of course, the exception to this is the convertible, which provides virtually no protection.
“Lightning never strikes the same place twice.” False! The Empire State Building, as an example, is struck by lightning many times every year.
“Lightning cannot strike from very far away.” False! Lightning can actually knock you off your feet and cause severe injury from as far as half a mile away.