Protect Yourself During Dangerous Summer Storms
During the summer, thunderstorms can not only bring rain, but thunder and lightning. To protect yourself from dangerous lightning, keep these common myths in mind next time you see a storm brewing.
1. Lightning never strikes twice.
Many locations and objects get hit by lightning several times every year. These include tall buildings like Chicago's Sears Tower and the Empire State Building in New York. There are also locations, such as mountain peaks, that will receive many lightning strikes each season. Other large structures, such as radio-television antennas, also can receive repeated strikes.
2. Lightning only occurs with thunderstorms.
While lightning does require moisture in the air to form, it doesn't have to be raining to create lightning. In fact, one of the most dangerous times for a fatal strike is just before a storm. Lightning can also travel horizontally, striking in areas that are still sunny. It is even possible for lightning to form during snow showers.
3. Lightning is only a danger outdoors.
Shocks from lightning strikes can travel into structures, usually through metal pipes, bathtubs, and electronic devices. If there is lightning in your area, stay off of your telephone, do not take a shower or bath, and limit your computer use. It is also possible for lightning to strike through a window, so if there is a danger of lightning in your area, take precautions to avoid this danger by closing any open windows and doors.
4. A person who has been struck by lightning shouldn't be touched.
Lightning strike victims are not electrified by the jolt. In fact, they carry no electrical charge and most likely need assistance from those nearby. Rescue personnel should be immediately called, and the victim should be evaluated by bystanders immediately, as they often need CPR to survive.
5. Lightning will not strike bodies of water.
Lightning can in fact strike anywhere, including on water. Being on a boat or swimming will not protect you from a lightning strike. Lightning strikes to water have been known to kill fish in the immediate vicinity. To protect yourself, anytime there is the danger of lightning, even if none has been seen yet, you should remain indoors until the danger has passed.
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