Monday, September 7, 2015

Stay Safe during Lightning.

Tragedy struck our neighboring States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha yesterday (Sunday, 6th Sept. 2015) in the form of lightning, killing at least 32 people. In Andhra Pradesh alone 23 deaths have occurred, spread over the districts of Nellore, Prakasham, Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari, Anantapur and Srikakulam. This is a very high death toll due to lightning. I feel some of these deaths could have been averted if the victims had knowledge of protecting themselves from lightning.
This article is about protecting ourselves and our loved ones from lightning strikes. The odds of anyone being struck by lightning in a given year are projected as only around 1 in 500,000 but yesterday’s large scale tragedy has caused pain and some worry and made me collect these safety procedures for all us to note and follow.
Ø If the weather forecast indicates thunderstorms, be cautious.
Ø When a thunderstorm threatens, get inside a home or large building or inside an all-metal vehicle (not convertible). A non-concrete structure is the safest because lightning can pass through any metal rods and wires in concrete structures.  
Ø Inside a home, avoid using the telephone, except for emergencies. However cordless and cellular phones are safe to use during storms.
Ø Avoid water taps, as lightning electricity can travel through plumbing.
Ø Avoid electronic equipment of all types. As lightning can travel through electrical systems and radio and television reception systems.
Ø If outside, with no time to reach a safe building or an automobile, follow these rules:
Ø Do not stand underneath a natural lighting rod such as a tall, isolated tree.
Ø Avoid projecting above the surrounding landscape as you would do if you were standing on a hilltop, in an open field, on the beach, or fishing from a small boat.
Ø Get out of and away from open water.
Ø Get away from tractors and other metal farm equipment.
Ø Get off and away from motorcycles, scooters, golf carts and bicycles. Put down golf clubs.
Ø Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, metal pipes, rails and other metallic paths which could carry lightning to you from some distance away.
Ø Avoid standing in small isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
Ø In a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees. In open areas, go to a low place such as a ravine or a valley. Be alert for flash floods.
Ø If you are hopelessly isolated in a level field of prairie and you feel your hair stand on end – indicating that lightning is about to strike – drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. Do not like flat on the ground.

Now please watch these two very informative videos on Lightning and see the posters below them: 
Lightning - What is it? How is it formed:

Lightning Safety and Myths:









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