INTRODUCTION

Lightning is natural phenomena that can bring an underrated hazard. Lightning strikes cause more deaths, injuries, and damage than all other environmental elements combined, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates there were 26,400 lightning-caused fires annually between 1989 and 1992; property damage during this time was estimated to be in the billions of dollars. According to the Insurance Information Institute, five percent of all paid insurance claims were lightning-related. While all types of facilities should evaluate their lightning safety, storage tanks containing flammable substances may represent a special fire or explosion hazard in the event of a lightning strike; a spark, that might otherwise cause little or no damage, could ignite flammable vapours, resulting in a fire or explosion. Releases of toxic substances also have occurred. [2] In a mature thunderhead strong negative charges form in the base of the cloud, while a layer of positive charges forms at the top. Since like charges repel each other, the negatively charged base of the cloud has an effect on the electrical charges on the ground beneath it, 'pushing' the negative electrons on the ground away and leaving an area of positive charge directly beneath the cloud that follows the cloud as it moves. Normally air is a poor conductor; however when the electrical differences between the cloud and the ground become great enough, even air molecules will conduct an electrical current. That's what a lightning flash is, a flow of these separated positive and negative charges back together again along ionized air. About 85% of lightning occurs within a cloud.[1] Lightning is a form of static electricity; it has extremely high electrical potentials and energy and can generate extremely high temperatures. Protection from Lightning Strikes

To minimize risk from lightning, the major goal is to find the location that is least likely to send up an upward leader. Obviously, the major sources for upward leaders are things like mountain peaks, exposed ridges, and tall trees. These objects should be avoided, but if you get too far away out into an open field, you may set yourself up as another likely source. For example, if a person is near a pinnacle, the person should stay

Split up but still be within sight of each other--20 feet (6 meters) apart or more--unless this puts some people in a site with a higher strike potential. The survival of one person whose heart or breathing has stopped as a result of a strike may depend on prompt action by companions. shelters. get to shore. Don't seek shelter in caves. towers.inside a zone where the horizontal distance from the pinnacle is about one to one-half less than the pinnacle's height above the person. Hypothermia could be a problem if we become wet. Stay away from taller trees. and fences. through our phone cord. or drainages that may have water flowing in them. Metal objects and water do not attract lightning but easily transmit electricity once they are hit. Dry or well-drained ground is best.[2] By far the safest place to be during an electrical storm is in a house or building. to the handset. even out in the open. If we are on the water. It is best if the pinnacle is five to ten times our height to get a reasonable distance away from the potential strike location. • Avoid using electrical appliances such as telephone. bleachers. Lightning tends to strike tall or isolated objects. which are likely conduits for ground currents.[5] . Here is what should be done in immediate danger from lightning: Spread Out If the group is in an area of high lightning danger. Stay out of depressions. the group should not wait out the storm huddled together. It is important to remember not to be touching that metallic cage. If we are in the middle of an open field. gullies. the best thing to do is get into a lowlying area and assume the lightning position. Find a position partway down a slope. If we are in a forest. The metal plumbing and wiring in the walls of the building form a protective barrier. under boulders or overhangs. especially if they are wet. but that's a secondary problem compared to imminent lightning danger. These are usually part of a larger system of cracks and fissures. or in bunkers unless they are dry and unless we have at least 20 feet (6 meters) of headroom and 4 feet (2 meters) of space on every side. we should be able to stay relatively dry until the storm has passed. into your telephone. Lightning can strike telephone and electrical wires and travel into your house. including trees. and SHOCK us! Cordless phones are not dangerous because there is no physical connection to the wires. • • • • • • What to Do in a Severe Lightning Storm Most lightning storms move away fairly quickly. Avoid caves and overhangs unless they are clearly dry and spacious. flagpoles. With good rain gear. try to find a group of lower trees that are less likely to be a strike site. This assumption is based on how a lightning rod works.

The idea behind the lightning position is to channel any electric current through less critical areas of the body (the legs). coma may develop. blue.[5] Health issue related to lightning hazards After a person has been struck by lightning. including cataracts. the person awakens but does not remember what happened before the injury (amnesia). but if breathing has not restarted. or consist of streaks where sweat has been turned into steam. branching pattern. you can crouch on top of a dry. This is due to something called the Skin Effect which says that electricity. potentially causing significant organ damage including cardiac arrest. we are safe. the heart may stop beating (cardiac arrest) or may beat erratically. the body is deprived of oxygen. The heart may beat again on its own. one is a crouch position with your feet close together and your butt off the ground. Many eye injuries can develop. the storm is within 6 miles (10 kilometers). CONCLUSION . Don't put your hands on the ground. as long as we stay inside. There are to basic positions. insulating material like a foam pad or your pack. think slowly. In the lightning position if you were in the path of a ground current. In either position your hands should not be touching any part of your body below your waist (such as your knees). tingling. Often both legs become temporarily paralyzed. the current could just as easily flow up through the arm and out a leg traveling directly through the major organs.[4] The skin may show no marks at all or may have minor burns that have a feathering. The lack of oxygen and. including your heart.Assume the Lightning Position Anytime thunder is 30 seconds or less from the lightning. Typically. like lightning. If possible.[3] Cars also a very safe to be. possibly. minimizing the parts of the body affected. The person may be confused. If brain damage is severe. it would travel up one leg and out the other. and we should assume the lightning position. So while our car may be hit by lightning. If a hand is on the ground (or on any other part of your body below your waist). nervous system damage can cause the heart to stop beating again. and have difficulty concentrating and remembering recent events. and breathing often stops. consist of clusters of tiny pinpoint spots like a cigarette burn. Don't lie down on the ground. The other is sitting down with your arms crossed at your chest.[4] Brain injury usually causes loss of consciousness. will travel only on the surface of enclosed metal objects. Numbness. The metal that is surrounding us that affords the protection. Personality changes may occur. and weakness may develop because the nerves branching out from the spinal cord have been damaged (peripheral neuropathy). and numb (keraunoparalysis). The eardrums are often perforated.

. Therefore it is important to follow the precautions steps to avoid this hazard such as. Thus. such as a gazebo. It is also not safe to resume outdoor activities until 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder is heard or lightning is seen [4]. A person struck by lightning does not retain electricity. can help in deciding whether to cancel outdoor activities and in planning for any emergencies that may develop. lighting is a natural phenomenon that can bring hazards. Lightning hazards also can be avoided by not sheltering in a small open structure. so there is no danger in providing first aid. all these important steps are important to avoid this hazard. Many people struck by lightning are in good general health and are more likely to recover if given timely CPR. because it is not safe. which is particularly important for organizers of outdoor events.As the conclusion. during the thunderstorm season. listening to weather reports.

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