Safety: Natural Hazards - Lightning|
Posted on Saturday, July 30 @ 12:14:32 MST by iljiana
Outdoors is the most dangerous place to be during
a lightning storm. When lightning is seen or thunder
is heard, or when dark clouds are observed, quickly
move indoors or into a hard-topped vehicle and
remain there until well after the lightning storm ends
- If you are caught above the tree line when a storm approaches, descend quickly. Avoid isolated trees. It is better to run into a forest. Be the lowest point. Lightning hits the tallest object. In the mountains if you are above treeline, you ARE the highest object around. Quickly get below treeline and get into a grove of small trees.
- Don't be the second tallest object during a lightning storm! Crouch down if you are in an exposed area.
- If no enclosed building is convenient, get inside a hard-topped all-metal vehicle. A cave is a good option outside but move as far as possible from the cave entrance.
- Electric storms can also develop in the middle of the night. To lower your odds, don't pitch your tent near the tallest trees in the vicinity.
- Hikers, golfers, and others should run into a forest if a shelter or car is not nearby.
- Drop metal objects like golf clubs, tennis rackets, umbrellas, and packs with internal or external metal frames.
- Get off bicycles, motorcycles, horses, and ATVs.
- If you are caught in an open field, seek a low spot. Crouch with your feet together and head low.
- Don't sit or lie down, because these positions provide much more contact with the ground, providing a wider path for lightning to follow. If you are with a group and the threat of lightning is high, spread out at least 15 feet apart to minimize the chance of everybody getting hit.
- Don't return to an open area too soon. People have been struck by lightning near the end of a storm, which is still a dangerous time.
- Swimmers, anglers, and boaters should get off lakes or rivers and seek shelter when storms approach. Drop any fishing rods. Boaters who cannot get off the water before the storm hits should crouch low. Once on land, get at least 100 yards away from shore.
Lightning Safety on the Water
Before going boating, fishing,diving or enjoying other water sports, check the forecast. If severe weather is predicted, stay home. If you must go out, take a radio and monitor forecasts. Return to shore as soon as possible if a storm is predicted. If you caught out in a storm, here's what do to:
- Get off the water!
- Keep arms and legs in the boat. Do not dangle them in the water.
- Stop fishing, water skiing, swimming or other water activities when there is lightning or even when weather conditions look threatening. The first lightning strike can be a mile or more in front of an approaching thunderstorm cloud.
- Disconnect and do not use or touch the major electronic equipment, including the radio, throughout the duration of the storm.
What to do if someone is struck by lightning:
- Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or your local ambulance service. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.
- Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries. Stay with the victim until help arrives.
- People who have been hit by lightning carry no electric charge and can be safely tended to. Also, victims who appear dead can often be revived.
- Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight.