Zone of lightning discharges, lightning, safety and human behavior in the danger zone, the search for shelters.

Wherever you are, there is always the possibility of being hit by atmospheric electric discharges. The discharge of lightning accumulated in clouds of electricity is especially dangerous in high places or where you are the highest object. In a thunderstorm, avoid hills, tall trees and lonely large boulders, go to a low level place and lie on the ground. 

Zone of lightning discharges, lightning, safety and human behavior in the danger zone, the search for shelters.

Protection against lightning consists, first of all, in a pre-selected shelter or occupied position. If you are on a steep slope or ridge at the time of a thunderstorm, then your safety depends on how quickly you go down to the area protected from direct lightning strikes, the so-called relative security zone.

and maple, the largest oak and poplar, then cedar and pine. If you cannot move away from tall objects, but you have dry material that can provide electrical insulation, sit on it. Rubber soles can improve insulation, but they are not a guarantee of your safety. Dry climbing rope cove good insulating material.

To isolate the trunk and legs from the earth’s surface, you can use a large stone or a fragment of a plate, under which several small stones should be placed. The body and clothes are also important to keep dry. Metal objects, if you have them, must be laid out 10-15 meters from where you are. Do not sit on the wet. Tilt your head down and with your hands press your knees to your chest, lift your legs off the ground and make sure that your limbs do not protrude. Do not touch the ground with your hands, which can create a path for electricity to pass through. If there is nothing electrically insulating, lie down and push yourself to the ground as tightly as possible..

Sometimes you can feel the proximity of a lightning strike on tingling skin and the feeling that the hair stood on end. If you are standing, immediately throw yourself on the ground, first kneeling and touching the ground with your hands. If lightning strikes you, then perhaps the charge will choose the most unhindered path through your hands, bypassing the body, and perhaps this will prevent your heart or breathing from stopping. Lie down quickly, clinging tightly to the ground. Do not touch metal objects when lightning flashes around, and stay away from metal structures and fences. Proximity to large metal objects can be dangerous even without contact with them, since the shock wave of heated air during the passage of lightning can damage the lungs.

Search and selection of shelters from lightning.

With a thunderstorm, you can’t hide in the niches of rocks, in the hollows of slopes, in small pits, or be at the entrance or at the far end of the cave. It is safe to have a position where the distance between the person and the walls of the grotto is at least 2 meters. In open areas, you should choose sandy areas, scree and moraines. The most dangerous water saturated soils and clay soils. You can’t be located in the immediate vicinity of the fire, as a column of hot air is a good conductor of electricity.

Having chosen a safe place, you need to sit down and pull your knees up to your chest, grab them in your arms. In no case should you touch the surface of rocks and soil with your head, back or other parts of the body. One of the best ways to save from a thunderstorm is to stay in a cave at a distance of at least 3 meters from its entrance and so that there is at least 1 meter empty space on each side of you. Do not take cover when entering a cave or under an overhanging rock in a mountainous area. Lightning can pierce this gap. The small holes in the rocks are often cracks that are gutters and therefore automatically channels for lightning.

The main types of lightning strikes.

Direct defeat occurs when a person is during a thunderstorm on a peak, crest, wide saddle or open space.
The effect of electromagnetic induction during the passage of an electric discharge at a distance of up to 1 meter from a person standing by a tree trunk at the time of a lightning strike.
Damage by currents resulting from the spread of an electric discharge over wet soil, areas with cliffs wet or covered with lichen, interspersed metals (metal ores), moisture accumulations in rock cracks, tree roots, etc..

Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of Survival.
Chernysh I. V.

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