When we are camping and a lightning storm begins to approach, the risks become prominent, especially in a wilderness, without the possibility to protect themselves in any house or other type of concrete structure. At such times it is essential to know what to do and what not to do.
The Brazil is world champion in incidence. Every 50 deaths by lightning in the world, happens here. But it is known that 80% of accidents could be avoided if people knew how to protect themselves.
Check out some data from Brazil, quite interesting:
“According to the survey of the Group of Atmospheric Electricity,14% of the victims were shot under trees, 10% on home coverage (balconies, awnings etc.), 10% inside the residence, 9% were struck by lightning when practiced sport, especially in fields and soccer fields, and 3% into the sea or on the beach.The rest of the fatalities happened in various circumstances, such as in construction and flooding. ”
Source INPE (National Institute of space research)
Before you read the tips below, you understand that the rays tend to fall (be drawn) by higher objects that stand out in the landscape.
Quickly explaining, lightning is an electrical discharge that occurs during a storm, when the clouds are in excess or lack of electrons. To get there is a neutralization of the cloud to the ground (or between clouds). This usually occurs through the highest object on the ground.
So the rule is: avoid high, open areas, vacant lots, soccer fields, Lakes or any other place where you is the highest point.In these situations, you can be one of the main targets of the hell.
Moreover, even in high areas, open, vacant lots, soccer fields and the edge of lakes, never get under objects that do not offer real protection, such as trees or kiosks, for example, because these possibly will be the main targets of the hell and you will be hit indirectly.
We emphasize that a few things attract lightning for being in isolated places (as commented above), but other attract for your material: metal. That is why I never get along or under metal objects.
The great tip is: try to protect from the rays, but never under locations that attract lightning.
What not to do
On the basis of the principles mentioned above, below the tips of what you should not do. They are simple things that can save your life!
– Get out of the Tent. Regardless of where you are camping, the first thing to do is get out of the tent and find a sheltered place. Do this especially if your tent is in a local field, because it can become a point of attraction.
– Do not lay down! When lightning strikes, the ground is energized and, if you are lying on it, can be achieved indirectly.Don’t think that lie on the insulation will save you. The electric intensity of lightning can be 1,000 times greater than that of an electric shower. If the lightning strikes in a nearby location and you are lying, the current will reach the whole length of your body. If your insulation is aluminized, worse still: apart from not protecting, being a metallic material, he can attract the electric current in the ground until you. As we mentioned before, most of the deaths by lightning ends up taking place indirectly.
-Is not the highest point! Don’t stay in the tops of hills, hills, high locations and elevations. Also don’t stay in vacant lots, soccer fields, pastures, edges of lakes, beaches etc. In any situation in which you are the highest point, you can attract lightning.
-Move away from isolated trees. When a tree is isolated in one area, it becomes the highest point and, therefore, the chance of being struck by lightning is great. This rule applies to all objects, regardless of the material.
It’s worth remembering that, according to the statistics,
most of the deaths by lightning happens under trees.
-Keep away from metal objects. This is valid for objects in General, as bicycles, motorcycles, wire fences, metal poles, pylons, masts, transmission lines, train tracks etc – not that they will attract the rays, but because they are good drivers can strengthen and lead to electric shock to you. Do not take cover under bus stops, kiosks or any other shelter made of metal.
– Get out of the water (Ocean, lagoon or pool). When lightning strikes the water, which is a good electrical conductor, the discharge is spread over long distances. So, no matter what the storm is far, the danger may be near. When lightning strikes in your discharge water can reach a person up to a mile away from the crash site.
-Don’t be in wetlands. As mentioned before, the water conducts electricity easily and even far from where the lightning struck in places soaked you can be achieved indirectly by electrical discharges.
How to protect yourself
Now that you know everything you’re not supposed to do, we will give you tips on how you can protect yourself. Be proactive not wait the storm came on top of you to protect yourself. The statistics says that most of the person that is reached is by first rays of the storm.
Shelter: If possible, get some structure as houses, buildings, sheds, caves. These are the best places to protect themselves, especially if they are equipped with lightning rod. After the storm, wait for a while before leaving out of the shelter, because the soil can be energized and you can be hit by a current indirect, as commented before.
Car: If there is a car, the best thing to do is go into it and close the doors and Windows, without touching the body or external parties. As much as the car is struck by lightning, the electrical discharge do not reach the inner part.
According to the experiment ofFaraday cage into a car (for example) struck by lightning, electricity is distributed only on your outer surface; in the interior there is no trace of your electricity. Yet, according to this law, the electric force on the inside of the drivers (the car in this case) completely closed and lack of bodies eletrizados is null. Hence the importance of maintaining the closed car with Windows and doors closed.
Trailer or Motor home: If there is a trailer or motor home, is valid the same principle as explained above for the cars. Just make sure you close all the doors and Windows.
Matos closed: It’s not the best protection there is, but if you don’t have a structure or car to protect themselves, the best option is to enter some woods and, if possible, keep a distance of 3 m or 4 m of the trunks of larger trees. In the Bush, the chance of being struck by lightning will decrease too. However, stay tuned to animals and other dangers around, and try not to move too much, not to run the risk of being without references and get lost. Do this only if there are no other forms of protection.
Without structure: If you are in an open and there is a shelter, or a car, or kill to protect themselves, the best thing to do is to squat on the floor, only with your feet on the ground (and against each other) and “little ball”, you not being a high point that attracts the lightning. Never sit or lie on the floor . When lightning strikes, the ground is energized and, if you are lying on it, can be achieved indirectly. As we mentioned before, most of the deaths by lightning ends up taking place indirectly.
If possible, get out of the most high and walk towards the valleys, depressions, matos closed or simply lower elevations, where lightning incidence tends to be smaller.
Is it possible to know the distance of the place where the lightning struck making a very simple account:
Whereas the speed of sound is 348 metres per second (at a temperature of 28° C and 70% air humidity), simply multiply this number by the amount of seconds the sound takes to propagate. To facilitate business, round this number to 350 (won’t make much of a difference in the final result).
In practice, to see the lightning, start counting the seconds. If, for example, spent 10 seconds you see the lightning and hear the Thunder, multiply this value by 350. Calculating: 10 X 350 = 3,500 m. Namely, the lightning fell to 3.5 km away from where you are.
Normally, we can hear thunder when lightning strikes up to 20 km away.
Factors of death
Most of the time, the death happens for respiratory and cardiac arrest, due to electrical discharge. Normally these discharges are indirectly: by land, by water, by metallic materials, among others.
How often people seek shelter, rarely lightning strikes directly on a person. However, when this happens, the intensity of the discharge amounts to about 30,000 amps (approximately 1000 times the intensity of an electric shower). I.e., in these cases the death is immediate.
Most of the technical data were taken from the National Institute for space research. Some information is from the National Weather Service of the United States.
INPE also has a primer with very simple explanations to help in the prevention of accidents. Gives here:http://www.inpe.br/webelat/docs/Cartilha_Protecao_Portal.pdf