Thursday, March 25, 2021

Enlightening Things About Lightning Strikes

May lightning strike you down if you don’t tell the truth!

That old phrase/threat went through my mind when I read about lightning strikes in the Midwest today. 

The key to not getting hit by lightning is to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Before you hand me a cookie and tell me to go away with that seemingly stupid observation, let me explain:

It doesn’t matter where you stand, what you wear or what you carry — the best thing to do is to avoid the locations where lightning can strike. Does that sound better? For example, anywhere outdoors or in unprotected structures.

Let’s say you’re somewhere outside where there are no buildings to hide in. A car (with a hard top, of course) will protect you. A direct strike to your car will flow through the frame of the vehicle and usually jump over or through the tires to reach ground.

Note I said usually. If you happen to be unlucky enough to touch the metal frame with your arm (or other body part) it could ruin your day. Especially if you don’t get out of the vehicle and check it out. Fuel can be ignited by a strike and cause a fire or explosion

I’ve got a couple of medical terms dealing with lightning I bet you never heard of: Keraunomedicine (study of lightning casualties and associated treatments), and keraunopathy (the study of effects of lightning on the human body)

Illuminating as all of this information may be, being struck by lightning is not something most people worry about. 

That is, unless you’re a statistic and this information comes too late for you.

Forgive me for being so flippant about a subject that strikes terror into some people. Sometimes I can’t help myself. 

I’ve never been struck by lightning (knock on wood!) nor have I ever met anyone who was. Like most of you, however, I’ve heard and read a lot of lightning strike stories.

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