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The Best Ways to Survive a Lightning Strike

A stance that minimizes the risk of being struck by lightning, performed by squatting down, tucking the head, covering the ears, and staying on the balls of the feet.

Lightning is one of nature's most powerful and unpredictable forces. I've seen it strike many miles from the storm front, especially near the ocean or water, on numerous occasions. Having said that, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself during a lightning storm.

Do not stand beneath a tree

Trees are possibly one of the worst places to be during a lightning storm because lightning is drawn to high objects that will conduct the electrical charge. When lightning strikes a tree, the energy can travel down the trunk and split it. If you are standing near the tree, it may decide to use you as a conductor and a secondary bolt may jump and run through the body.

Adopt the Lightning Crouch if you're out in the open

The lightning crouch is a technique for getting as close to the ground as possible while contacting it as little as possible. This means you're a lot less of a conductor than usual, and the lightning is more likely to strike another target. The position also reduces your risk if you are struck by a strike by diverting the discharge away from your vital organs -- such as brain & heart.

In the automobile

During a lightning storm, one of the safest places to be is in a car. If lightning strikes, the car's body will discharge the blast. Keep in mind that the car's shell will still be electrically charged after a strike, so keep all body parts away from anything metal. It's usually a good idea to put all watches, rings, and other metal objects in the glove box.


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