What should you do when you’re caught in a lightning storm?

Lightning is an electrical charge trying to find its way into the ground.

It will use whatever conduit it can to best accomplish that. Air doesn’t conduct electricity all that well. Actually, it’s pretty resistant, so when there are other alternatives, lightning will use them to make its way toward ground.

The best thing to do is to get inside a building. However, that’s not always a possibility.

Because metal is a great conductor of electricity, lightning will travel through it whenever it gets the chance, so stay away from metal poles, set down your golf clubs, and take off your jewelry.

Wood’s not a bad conductor either. Therefore, don’t stand under a tree, especially one that is off by itself in an otherwise clear area. Lightning will try to find the easiest conduit, which of course is usually the tallest object in the area.

If there’s no place to get inside, get down. Try to find the lowest, driest point in the area, and get as low as you can, duck and-cover style, with your hands and arms over your neck and head.

Finally, if you’re with others, get away from them. Your group members should spread out to at least twenty feet apart.

The more of you there are clumped together, the better conduit your group will be for a lightning bolt.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment