If you hear thunder, you are in danger: where to run and where to hide if there is a thunderstorm and lightning outside

Yulia PoteriankoLife
If you see lightning, you are in the area of its potential impact

We associate summer with relaxation. But in recent years, thunderstorms have increasingly disrupted it. Despite their apparent safety, they are not at all harmless, and when you hear the first thunder, experts still recommend that you be careful and take cover to avoid even the slightest chance of being struck by lightning.

To find out more about safety measures in stormy weather, the New York Post turned to Aaron Treadway, a lightning safety expert at the US National Weather Service (NWS). He gave clear advice on what to do when bad weather approaches.

Why it is important

Every year, about 240,000 lightning incidents are recorded worldwide. About 2000 cases result in death. The discharge often leaves people with serious burns and injuries.

In the United States, lightning has long been the second most common cause of death from the elements after flooding. According to statistics collected over two decades until 2012, an average of 51 Americans were killed by lightning every year. Today, this number has 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 epicentre of a thunderstorm to hear thunder or see lightning, you are in a potentially dangerous area where a lightning strike could occur. You should seek shelter. Even if it is 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 take shelter from a thunderstorm

There are not many places that can provide safe shelter during a thunderstorm. The safest ones are houses and cars. They form Faraday cages - metal structures, such as a car body or a system of pipes, redirect the discharge so that it "flows" over the outer surface, and people inside remain safe. However, the car must be closed tightly, without gaps.

What places to avoid

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

  • lone trees in the middle of a flat area;
  • any open spaces, such as lawns, meadows or rocky outcrops;
  • covered picnic areas - they do not provide sufficient protection.

Experts also advise against lying flat on the ground during a thunderstorm. If lightning strikes, this position will only increase the surface area through which the discharge can pass.

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

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