7 Myths About Lightning Strikes

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1. Lightning only happens where it’s raining.

False! “In fact, more people are injured or die when it’s not raining where they are,” explains Deegan. A lightning strike can occur as far as 10 miles away from rainfall.

2. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

False: Lightning actually has a tendency to hit the same place multiple times. Lightning takes the easiest route from the sky to the ground, meaning it usually targets the highest object in the immediate area; the Empire State Building gets hit almost 100 times per year!

3. If your hair stands up on end, you are in danger of being struck by lightning.

True! If you feel your skin tingle or your hair floating, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Put your hands on your knees with your head between them. Try to make yourself as small as possible and minimize your contact with the ground. Don’t lie flat on the ground.

4. Rubber shoes or tires will protect you from lightning.

False! Rubber soles offer no protection from a lightning strike; however, the steel frame of a car offers more protection than if you were standing outside (as long as you aren’t touching any metal), according to the National Weather Service. If your car is hit by lightning with you inside, you may be injured and your car could be damaged, but you’ll be more likely to survive than if you were outside.

5. Someone struck by lightning is carrying an electric charge, so you shouldn’t touch them.

False! A victim can’t carry a charge, and they’ll need immediate help from you. Call 911 and start CPR as quickly as possible if they aren’t breathing.

6. If you’re outside in a thunderstorm, you can shelter yourself under a tree.

False! Being under a tree is the second leading cause of death from lightning strikes. It’s better to be wet than electrocuted, so steer clear of any tall objects around, including the trees. If you’re out in the water, Deegan suggests staying low as you paddle in and crawling across the sand until you can get in your car. If you’re out in the wilderness, get away from your tent and hiking poles and find a low, protected spot away from trees or under the shortest tree you can find.

7. If you’re inside a house, you are totally safe.

False! A house is certainly safer than an open field, but you can still be injured. If you’re indoors during a storm, don’t touch corded phones, electrical appliances, wires, cables, computers, or plumbing.


H/T to grindtv.com

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