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Heard thunder - you are in danger: where to run and where to hide if there is a thunderstorm and lightning outdoors

Yulia PoteriankoLife
If you see lightning, you are in the zone of its potential damage

We associate summer with vacations, but in recent years, it has been increasingly disrupted by thunderstorms. Despite their apparent safety, they are not entirely harmless. When you hear the first thunder, experts still recommend being cautious and taking cover to avoid even the slightest chance of being struck by lightning.

To learn more about safety measures in stormy weather, the New York Post turned to Aaron Treadway, a lightning safety expert at the National Weather Service (NWS). He provided clear advice on what to do in the event of an approaching storm.

Why it's important

Every year, approximately 240,000 lightning incidents are reported worldwide, with about 2,000 resulting in death. Often, lightning strikes leave a person with serious burns and injuries.

In the United States, lightning has long been the second most common cause of death from natural elements after flooding. According to statistics collected over two decades until 2012, an average of 51 Americans were killed annually by lightning. This number has now dropped to 23, but the risk of lifelong brain damage is much greater.

When a thunderstorm is dangerous

The NWS warns that if you are close enough to the epicenter of a thunderstorm to hear thunder or see lightning, you are in a potentially dangerous area where a lightning strike could occur. Seek shelter, even if it's not raining in your location.

Go to the nearest safe place and wait there for at least 30 minutes before going outside again. This will protect you from lightning.

Where to seek shelter from a thunderstorm

There are not many places that can provide safe shelter during a thunderstorm. The safest options are houses and cars. They act as Faraday cages - metal structures like a car body or a system of pipes that redirect the discharge, ensuring the safety of those inside. However, the car must be tightly closed, with no gaps.

Places to avoid

On the contrary, the following places are dangerous during a thunderstorm:

  • Isolated trees in the middle of a flat area.
  • Any open spaces, such as lawns, meadows, or rock outcroppings.
  • Covered picnic areas - they do not provide sufficient protection.

Experts also advise against lying flat on the ground during a thunderstorm. In this case, if you are struck by lightning, this position will only increase the surface area that can be affected.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told how to protect yourself from summer insomnia due to the heat at night.

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