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Don't Be a Human Lightning Rod
Kirt's Cogitations™ #127

These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.

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   Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
   Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.

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Don't Be a Human Lightning Rod

About 50 lightning bolts strike the ground every minute in the U.S. - or about 26 million per year. Florida receives the greatest density of strikes, while the entire Pacific coast gets almost none at all. 300 people each year report being struck by lightning - about one for every 86,000 bolts. Among them, almost a quarter die from injuries, and many more suffer debilitating maiming. If you are caught in a thunderstorm, the best advice is to avoid being the tallest thing around, and do not get near the tallest thing around - the residual flash can get you. Avoid isolated shelters with no metal wiring or plumbing to ground. Avoid pipes, tractors or other metal objects. Being inside a metal car with rubber tires is good, but keep away from the windows. If in an open area, find a low spot and lay down. As a last resort, use the Lightning Crouch: squat down and balance on the balls of your feet, tuck your head, and place your hands over your ears (eardrum rupturing from the thunder clap is common).

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