Don't Be a Human Lightning Rod
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.
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).