Lightning: a few tips to protect yourself from getting hurt
After a storm, the damage can be important, from a material point of view, but also, unfortunately, from a human point of view. So, to protect oneself from lightning, everyone should know the right attitudes to adopt.
Thunderstorms are one of the most beautiful spectacles that nature offers us, but t's best to take cover when the forecast calls for thunderstorms, even if they seem far away.
Lightning can strike several kilometres from its source. If you can count less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and a thunderclap, take cover because this means that the storm is less than 10 kilometres away from you.
Protecting yourself from lightning in a house
When a thunderbolt strikes a house, the consequences can be serious. The basic solution is to install a lightning conductor on the roof connected to a specific earth connection capable of carrying high-frequency lightning currents to protect your house and those who live in it. In all cases, the equipotentiality (same potential) of the structure, the lightning conductor, the lightning ground, the metal lines and the pipe entering the house is necessary.
When no surge protector is in place, experts recommend disconnecting the power supply and, if applicable, the antenna cable from the television and computer because television can be damaged by a strong surge and implode, injuring people nearby.
It is also advisable to keep away from pipes and other metal objects (gas pipes, radiators, etc.)
Why shouldn't you shower during a storm?
One of the activities to avoid in a house during a storm is showering. Simply because lightning can travel through the pipes into your home.
Making a phone call is also risky, as landline phones are notoriously difficult to use. It is better to unplug them to avoid another point of entry in the house for the lightning. No such problems with cell phones, they are safe to use.
Protecting yourself from lightning in the wilderness
If a thunderstorm breaks out while you're out in nature, don't panic. Taking long strides or running would expose you to the risk of step voltage. A voltage generated by a rise in the ground potential occurs when a high current such as that carried by lightning penetrates the ground.
The best way to do this is to crouch down with your hands in your lap. Before doing so, be sure to move away from fences, trees or water. If you are in a group, spread out. Finally, don't open your umbrella: it's better to come out of the storm wet than struck by lightning!
Protecting yourself from lightning in the mountains
At the first sign of an impending storm, specialists strongly advise climbers to stay away from peaks and ridges, which are prime thunderbolt strike points.
It is also preferable to stay at least 1.5 meters away from the walls (of a cave or other). In addition, as in the wilderness, it is recommended to crouch down or isolate yourself from the ground using an insulating material such as a roll of nylon rope or a folded sleeping bag.
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