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Re: ER Physician Tells You How To Avoid A Lightning Strike And What To Do If One Occurs

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avatar ER Physician Tells You How To Avoid A Lightning Strike And What To Do If One Occurs
August 07, 2009 02:54PM
ScienceDaily (Aug. 7, 2009) — An estimated 200 people die each year in the U.S. after being struck by lightning. An extremely brief but intense hit delivers more than 10 million volts and is fatal in about 30 percent of cases. Recent lightning strikes in Newark resulted in one death and three injuries.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090805193601.htm
(sigh)

Don't read the article; "unenlightened" at best. It contains unreferenced opinion and possible incorrect information.


Recommend spending your time reading the NOAA site on lightning:


http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: ER Physician Tells You How To Avoid A Lightning Strike And What To Do If One Occurs
August 07, 2009 06:08PM
Is it true that 70 percent of lightning strike victims survive?
Quote
Vince
Is it true that 70 percent of lightning strike victims survive?

Sounds about right:
http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/papers/techmemos/NWS-SR-193/techmemo-sr193-3.html#section3a
http://www.springerlink.com/content/1107360702228010/
http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/papers/techmemos/NWS-SR-193/techmemo-sr193.html
Looks like those references suggest anywhere from 13-36% of causalties (deaths and injuries) from lightning are fatal.

However, if you are in the mortality group, it is 100% for you.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Quote
Vince
Is it true that 70 percent of lightning strike victims survive?

I got hit and I survived. Just going by me alone, that's 100%, rounded for statistical inaccuracy wink
avatar Re: ER Physician Tells You How To Avoid A Lightning Strike And What To Do If One Occurs
August 07, 2009 08:20PM
A friend of mine called me last January, he said "Vince, I'm going under the knife, quadruple bypass."

I said "Well that's kinda routine now, isn't it?"

He said "It is until they do it on you."

Heard back from him a month later. "Vinny, I survived. And trust me, don't do it until you have to. I've never had this much pain."

I told him I'll take his advice. Then again, I don't live in Bisbee, am age 66, and don't have a 4-year-old daughter.

I will go when I go.
Most of the discussion of "what to do outdoors" during lightning suggests that you get inside an appropriately constructed solid shelter. Unfortunately, this does not address situations in the woods far from shelters. Here is some more specific and apparently reasonable information from the Fireline Handbook intended as instructions for wildland firefighters:


http://www.nwcg.gov/pms/pubs/410-1/410-1.pdf
National Wildfire Coordinating Group
Fireline Handbook, pg 19-20 (2004)

Thunderstorm Safety
Approaching thunderstorms may be noted by a sudden reverse in wind direction, a noticeable rise
in wind speed, and a sharp drop in temperature. Rain, hail, and lightning occur only in the mature
stage of a thunderstorm.

Observe the 30/30 rule:
a) If you see lightning and
hear thunderclaps within 30 seconds take storm
counter-measures identified below.
b) Do not resume work in exposed areas until 30 minutes
after storm activity has passed.

• Take shelter in a vehicle or building if possible.
• If outdoors, find a low spot away from tall trees, wire fences, utility lines, and other
elevated conductive objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
• If in the woods, move to an area with shorter trees.
• If only isolated trees are nearby, keep your distance twice the tree height.
• If in open country, crouch low minimizing contact with the ground. You can use a pack
to sit on, but never lay on the ground.
• If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, immediately crouch low to the ground.
Make yourself the smallest possible target and minimize your contact with the ground.
• Don’t group together.
• Don’t stay on ridgetops, in wide open areas, near ledges or rock outcroppings.
• Don’t operate land line telephones, machinery, or electric motors.
• Don’t handle flammable materials in open containers or metal hand tools.
• Handheld radios and cellular telephones can be used.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
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