Safety Precautions

What are some things you should do if caught in a lightning storm?

The safest place to be during an electrical storm is inside a building (where you should stay away from electrical appliances such as the phone and television, as well as all plumbing and radiators) or car, but if you are unable to shield yourself in this way, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Crouch down on the lowest section of the ground, but do not let your hands touch the ground. If lightning strikes the ground, the charges spread out sideways and can still reach you. If only your feet are on the ground (especially if you’re wearing rubber-soled shoes), this might limit the amount of charge that passes through your body. If you must lie down because of an injury, try to roll up into a tight ball.
  • Take off and move away from all metal objects unless they act as Faraday Cages (refer to the question about Faraday Cages).
  • Move away from isolated and tall trees.
  • Avoid the tops of hills or mountains and open areas such as water and fields.
  • If out on a lake or on the ocean, get back to shore as quickly as possible. If that is not practical, get down low in the boat and move away from any tall metal masts or antennas.


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