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Insurance Article

Five Ways to Minimise the Risk of Being Struck by Lightning

September 11 2017

Lightning is beautiful, but deadly too. Follow these steps to ensure you’re always on the safe side

Lightning and thunder, by nature’s standard, are a very fickle event. They can strike in the most unexpected places and do the most unexpected damage. It is an unruly beast; hard to predict and filled with surprises. The steps you should take to avoid it outdoors, inside, or while driving are important and distinct. While you cannot fully prevent getting struck by lightning, you can decrease the likelihood. Here are five ways to do it.

Be Safe Outside

You must stay away from open fields or hilltops as lightning often strikes the tallest object in the area. You can also check weather forecasts early in the day and avoid going to the swimming pools, lakes or beaches on rainy days.

If you find yourself in open water during a thunderstorm, return to land immediately. If you are in a boat and cannot return to safety, drop anchor and crouch as low as possible. You must also avoid metal objects like fences or exposed pipes.

Stay Safe While at Home

Add a lightning rod to your roof as even though they do not attract lightning, they do provide a path of least resistance. It can prevent the electric current from damaging your home. During thunderstorms, lightning can travel through water pipes if it strikes your home. Do not bathe or shower until the storm has passed. Also, keep in mind to close your windows.

Using electronic devices that plug into the wall is dangerous during a lightning storm. Avoid using TVs, washing machines, and corded phones during thunderstorms. Wireless electronics, like cell phones, are safe to use unless they are plugged into a charger.

Don't Wait

While many people don't wait long enough to go back outdoors after the storm has passed, many others stay outside until the threatening weather is right on top of them. Another one-third of injuries or fatalities occur prior to the rain beginning, leaving only a third of injuries or fatalities during the actual storm event itself.

Make Yourself as Small as You Can

If a person is caught out in the open during a thunderstorm, they need to crouch down and touch as little surface of the ground as they can. Lightning will hopefully not choose this person as a better conductor because they are not contacting the ground well.

Also, the other advantage of this method is that in the unfortunate case where the person is still struck. The lightning strike passes through the body of the person to the ground and misses the major organs of the body, mainly the brain and the heart. This increases their chance of survival by incredible amounts. You must also refrain from standing under a tree.

Always Have a Plan

Before beginning an outdoor activity, you are advised to check the weather forecasts. If there is a risk of a thunderstorm, do not go out. But, if your activity is important, plan your schedule accordingly. Keeping your feet together when you are outside will also help minimise the current that can go through you, if you ever are struck.

You never know when a disaster can strike and turn your life around. It is always better to equip yourself with accidental insurance, so that even when something as terrifying and deadly as lightning or natural calamity hits you, there is always someone to back you up.

Related Article:

What to Do Before, During, and After Flash Floods/Floods?
Tips for Safer Daily Commute during Monsoon

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