Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Get HelpOutdoor Safety Tips During Lightning

Outdoor Safety Tips During Lightning

Lightning demands respect and precaution, so when the skies grow dark and the storm approaches, it's crucial to know how to stay safe outdoors.

For outdoor safety, taking specific steps is crucial when a storm approaches and lightning illuminates the sky. This brief guide will explain how particular measures can lower your risk amid a lightning storm.

Avoid High Grounds

Lightning typically strikes the highest point in an area, so staying low can make you a less likely target.

Stay Away from Open Areas

Open fields can leave you exposed as the tallest object, making you vulnerable to strikes.

Do Not Swim

Water conducts electricity, and being in a pool during a lightning storm dramatically increases the risk of electrocution.

Keep Kites Grounded

Kites can act as lightning rods, drawing strikes toward the string holder.

Umbrellas are Risk

Much like kites, the metal tips of umbrellas can attract lightning.

Cell Phone Caution

Regarding outdoor safety, it’s essential to understand that using a cell phone does not increase your chances of being struck by lightning. However, engaging in activities that divert your attention, such as using a cell phone, can delay your response to seek appropriate shelter during a storm. Prioritizing safety means minimizing distractions to move to a safe location when lightning is present quickly.

Distance from Tall Objects

Trees and light poles are common lightning targets; keeping your distance minimizes the danger.

Machinery Use

Avoid using heavy machinery, which can conduct electricity and may be dangerous during a storm.

Proper Shelter

Buildings with wiring and plumbing offer the best protection. Canopies do not provide safe shelter because they cannot ground the electrical current.

Car Safety

A hard-topped vehicle can provide a safe space in case of a lightning storm, as the metal frame can generate electricity around you.

The explanation relates to the concept of a Faraday cage, which is a structure that shields its contents from external electric fields. When lightning strikes a hard-topped vehicle (like most cars with metal roofs and bodies), the vehicle’s metal frame conducts the electricity. Instead of the electricity passing through the car’s interior (where people are), it travels around the exterior surface and then grounds to the Earth. This happens because the metal frame distributes the electric charge around the vehicle’s outer shell, providing a path of least resistance for the electricity to reach the ground. As a result, people inside the car are kept safe as long as they do not touch any metal parts of the car’s interior that might conduct electricity. This principle is why a hard-topped vehicle can offer a safe space during a lightning storm.

Check what to do in case of downed power lines.

For Kids

Teach them to crouch and cover their ears to minimize the risk of ground current and the sound of thunder.

These guidelines are designed to limit your interaction with conductive materials and steer clear of actions that could increase your vulnerability during a storm. It’s crucial to acknowledge that no outdoor area is secure during thunderstorms. At the first sound of thunder, act swiftly to seek shelter. For further protection, you can review how to navigate rainy roads in Bulgaria and consider reviewing indoor safety tips in case of a lightning storm.

More Helpful Tips

More FAQs

More How-To

More articles