Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thunder and Lightning Safety

Dijukno many visiting the outdoors are unaware of the measures they can take to lower their risk of being struck by lightning?  Educating yourself about lightning strikes can
 minimize your chances of injury or even death.

Seek safe shelter and try to avoid high terrain, and bodies of water during high lightning activity (late morning to evening).

If you are caught above the tree line when a storm approaches, descend quickly.  Avoid isolated trees.  It is better to run into the forest.

Electric storms can also develop in the middle of the night                
To lower your odds, don't pitch your tent near the tallest trees in the vicinity.

Outdoor activities
Hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts should run into the forest if a shelter or car is not nearby.

Avoid metal objects 
Drop metal objects like umbrellas, and packs with internal or external metal frames, metal fences, and utility poles should also be avoided.

If you are caught in an open field, seek a low spot
 Crouch with your feet together and head low.

If Someone Is Struck
People who have been hit by lightning carry no electric charge and can be safely tended to.  Also, victims who appear dead can often be revived.  If the person is not breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  But if a pulse is absent as well and you know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), begin CPR.  Stay with the victim until help arrives.

Don't sit or lie down, because these positions provide more contact with the ground, providing a wider path for lightning to follow
 It is recommended to carry a piece of foam padding to stand on if you plan to recreate in an area prone to thunder and lightning.  If you are with a group and the threat of lightning is high, spread out at least 15 feet apart to minimize the chance of everybody getting hit.

Don't return to an open area too soon
 People have been struck by lightning near the end of a storm, which is still a dangerous time.

 This information is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment.  If you have a health related concern, consult a physician.  Also, the tips discussed here may lower injury risk, but the unpredictability of lightning offers no guarantees.

Also, practice Leave No Trace Principles by planning ahead and prepare prior to your outdoor recreational activities.

Cutting Switchback's On A Trail

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