Useful Tips

Outdoor behavior during a thunderstorm


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Flash! Screen! Crack! Thunderstorm woke you in the middle of the night. How to fall asleep again and continue to sleep soundly, despite all this roar? How to hide from loud bangs and bright flashes of lightning? In some regions, thunderstorms often interrupt night sleep. Nevertheless, there are certain ways that will allow you to sleep normally regardless of the elements raging in the sky. It takes only a little forethought and ingenuity.

Tips for motorists

Each all-metal car body is a reliable shelter for passengers. In a thunderstorm, you should close the windows and interrupt the ride if possible. If you can not stop at all, then it is better to slow down.

If lightning strikes the car, the lightning current will go into the ground through the body and tires. Tires may be damaged. There were cases when, with a direct lightning strike, the water under the wheels instantly evaporated and the vehicle threw up a few centimeters with pressure from the steam.

After a lightning strike into a car, at least check the condition of the tires. Damage can also be in the electronic devices and electrical equipment of the machine. In addition, the driver of the car can be blinded by a flash of lightning and stunned by peals of thunder so that it loses control.

Finally, you should keep in mind the broken branches and trees on the roadway.

Lightning strikes can damage traffic lights, signaling devices and street lighting, which will increase the risk of travel.

Tips for hikers

When setting up a campground, you need to choose the right place. Elevated places, hills, mountain peaks and river banks should be avoided. The tent should also not be placed at the edge of the forest and under a lone tree.

During a thunderstorm, a car can serve as the best shelter thanks to its metal casing.

If you still have to wait for the thunderstorm in the tent, you should take care of an insulating bedding (for example, an air mattress, dry rubber bedding, etc.) or squatting on a metal cot. You need to be as far away from metal racks and tent walls.

Residential wagons or mobile cars made of metal also constitute a good shelter:

  • their metal frame must be connected by a conductor to the chassis,
  • all windows and doors must be closed,
  • the external power cable must be disconnected from the outlet and removed from the car by at least 1 m.,
  • if possible, remove the antenna
  • the antenna must be grounded, and the antenna stand - communication with the metal frame of the car or with any grounding element,
  • if the TV is powered by an external antenna, it must be disconnected.

It is necessary to disconnect all consumers of electricity for the following reasons:

  • When lightning strikes directly into a living wagon, current searches for the shortest path to the ground. Current can get into the well-grounded circuits of most electrical appliances. As a result, there is a malfunction of the devices, the destruction of the wiring, the occurrence of a fire is not excluded. A gas system may leak. Therefore, after a lightning strike, you need to test the gas system for constant pressure. Particular attention is required to the van, which is in a permanent parking lot, and abandoned by the owner for some time. Upon entering it, an explosion may occur from a lit match or cigarette if the tightness of the gas system is impaired.
  • If lightning strikes the power supply network (overhead line wires, switchboards) and the car is not disconnected from the network, dangerous sparks can occur in the car. Staying in a carriage without a metal frame can be just as dangerous as being outdoors. Being under awnings made of synthetic material is dangerous, because a lightning current can choose a person’s body as the shortest path to the ground.

Already with the first signs of a thunderstorm, you should immediately take care of shelter. During a thunderstorm, in no case should you remain on horseback, since the rider is a possible point of lightning strike. If possible, stay away from the horse.

Being in the water of open reservoirs (lakes, rivers, ponds), it is necessary at the first sign of an approaching thunderstorm to stop swimming and hide in shelter. Sun umbrellas are not lightning protection. While in the pool, you need to immediately get out of the water and take refuge in the pool building. If the water of the open and closed parts of the pool is not blocked, then it is advisable to leave the water of the indoor pool for the following reason. For the bather, getting lightning at a close point on the water surface is life threatening, as a lightning current propagates in water, and the swimmer's body may be under a potential difference. The result of such an event is convulsions, unconsciousness or shock, as a result of which the swimmer can drown.

Sailing, boating, surfing

Sailing yachts without lightning protection, as well as motor boats and especially surfboards, pose a danger not only to their owners. All rescuers who try to provide assistance during a thunderstorm also put themselves at considerable risk. This fact should be recognized by every athlete: he must stop his studies at the first sign of a thunderstorm before it ends.

The game must be stopped immediately and hide in cover.

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Method 1 Calm Yourself

  1. 1 Find out in advance when the storm appears. Check the weather forecasts for your region regularly.
  2. 2 Do something that can comfort you, for example, read a book until it's time to go to bed.
  3. 3 Overcome all your phobias regarding thunder, because fear and adrenaline will not let you fall asleep.
  4. 4 Try not to focus on the thunderstorm, think about calmer things. Think about what you could dream about or what tomorrow will be like. This will distract you from thoughts of a raging thunderstorm.
  5. 5 Check, maybe you can already fall asleep without resorting to another method. Using an ear plug can help you.
  6. 6 Try going down or moving to another room. Observe the thunderstorm through the window. Most likely, this will bore you and you will get tired, but the most pleasant moment is that you will get used to the conditions of the thunderstorm by the time you go to bed, so when you try to fall asleep again, the thunder and lightning flashes will not disturb you!

Method 2 Pillow and Blanket

  1. 1 When you know in advance about the approaching thunderstorm, take out some comfortable heavy blankets and large pillows. They can help you drown out thunderstorm noise if necessary.
  2. 2 Cover your head with a large pillow, leaving room for breathing.
  3. 3 If the rumble of thunder still sounds too loud, put the blanket on the pillow, but leave yourself a small space in order to breathe.

Method 3 Sweatshirt

  1. 1 Use a sweatshirt instead of pillows and blankets. A pullover with a zipper on the chest, or with a zipper in full growth, is also suitable. It does not matter. It is preferable that it be thick, but comfortable and convenient, not too tight and not restricting your movements.
  2. 2 Do something to calm down. Get ideas from method 1 discussed earlier.
  3. 3 Try to fall asleep without a sweatshirt. In this case, ear plugs may come in handy.
  4. 4 Put on your sweatshirt so that it covers your ears. If lightning flashes are too bright and cause serious discomfort, then try putting it on your head in two layers or pulling it down over your eyes. Alternatively, if you have a hip-hop sweatshirt with a full-length zipper that fastens under the hood, then you can simply completely zip it up and then wear it as usual, but in a fully zipped look.
  5. 5 Try not to worry too much about the thunderstorm. However, when a thunderstorm goes into a critical phase and there is a danger of tornadoes, it is better not to go to bed at all.
  6. 6 Keep Confident! It is hoped that the thunderstorm will not last all night, and in most cases the worst part of the thunderstorm passes within the first thirty minutes, during which time you may be able to fall asleep again.

Method 4 Using an Earplug

  1. 1 Find a pair of ear plugs. Put them in your ears, lie down and try to sleep.
  2. 2 Use tissue paper (tissue) to plug your ears.
    • Find some tissue paper.
    • Twist it in a screw or ball. Leave the long end so that it hangs from the ear - it will be easier to remove.
    • Place the resulting paper ball or lump in your ear. Be careful not to push it too far. Always leave part of it outside so that you can easily pull it out later.

Method 5 Protective field from stuffed (cotton) animal toys

  1. 1 Gather all your stuffed animal toys together.
  2. 2 Position them around the bed. You yourself will be in the center of the animals.
  3. 3 Dive into bed. Replace any animals that fall. Snuggle back to bed.
  4. 4 Allow animals to protect you safely from the thunderstorm raging around. May their presence reassure you and create an imaginary protective field that protects you from unpleasant things.
  • Hold your animal’s toy or pillow tight if this helps you.
  • Turning on dim lights or a night light can reduce the contrast between total darkness and lightning flashes. If there is no electricity, you can use a flashlight, but remember that battery life does not last very long.
  • Try to keep yourself busy until you fall asleep.
  • If you see lightning from the bed outside the window, then think about moving your head away from the window, and try to close your eyes. This will help you fall asleep in the absence of thunder.
  • Turn on the fan in the room in order to provide a constant noise that will mask most of the thunder (unless of course there is electricity for this).
  • If thunder and lightning scare you, then go to bed in a windowless room. In a windowless room, the sound waves will decay sharply when they hit the wall.
  • If the noise of thunder bothers you, then try using earplugs.
  • Listen to iPod, MP3 or radio.
  • Try to fall asleep without leaving anything on your head: no blankets, no pillows, no radio.

What to do in a thunderstorm

The approach of one of the most dangerous natural phenomena can be envisaged in order to be able to take refuge and protect oneself from possible consequences. First of all, it is necessary to monitor the formation of powerful cumulus, tower-like clouds, the development of clouds. The direction of the wind will not give an obvious understanding, since a thunderstorm often moves against the wind. During a thunderstorm, the direction of the wind usually changes abruptly, there is complete calmness or a sharp barrage, after which it begins to rain. But a thunderstorm can begin without precipitation. Other harbingers of the approaching thunderstorm are:

  • High level of humidity. This can be seen by how long the dew on the grass lasts.
  • Low flying birds and especially aggressive insects.
  • Decrease in atmospheric air pressure.
  • Stuffy air

To determine the speed of approaching thunderclouds, you need to orientate yourself in time from the beginning of lightning flashes to the sound of thunder in seconds. The shorter this period, the closer the thunderstorm. And by reducing or increasing the intervals between flashes and peals, one can judge the approach or removal of thunderclouds. Given the speed of sound propagation in air, it is possible to judge the passage of sound one kilometer in three seconds. Thus, it is possible to calculate the approximate amount of time that remains in order to find refuge for a period of bad weather. The most dangerous condition is when there is no time gap between the flash of lightning and the thunder.

Do not be in open areas during thunderstorms

There are several rules for what to do if a thunderstorm catches up unexpectedly, and what to do to avoid unhappiness:

  1. Avoid open terrain. As a rule, lightning hits the highest point in the terrain. If you are in a field during a thunderstorm, the highest point will be a person.
  2. Water is an excellent conductor of current. Therefore, during a thunderstorm, you need to stay away from water.
  3. It is advisable to get rid of any metal products on the body, clothes, other things, putting them at a distance of five meters from yourself. An umbrella opened above your head can serve as a target for a lightning strike.
  4. You need to move around in a calm manner, especially in open areas.
  5. Disconnect all radio, household appliances, TV, other electrical appliances in the house from the network.
  6. If life is in danger or you are in places where there are no settlements, you must contact the rescue service of the Ministry of Emergencies.

What can not be done during a thunderstorm

In accordance with the above, it is possible to determine the rules of what should not be done during a thunderstorm:

  1. You can’t hide under lonely standing objects in an open area - a tree, a high-voltage pillar, other high buildings located in a great distance from others.
  2. Use a mobile phone, especially at a great distance from houses, other buildings. This is due to the fact that electromagnetic waves attract an electric discharge, and there are known cases of lightning falling into the mobile phone of a person who was talking on it at that time. However, in urban environments such cases are rare.
  3. To ride a bike in an open area.
  4. Do not cuddle or be in another close proximity to metal objects on the street.
  5. Do not immediately shelter from the rain. If the clothes are wet, there is less chance that lightning will strike than if it is dry.
  6. Do not lie on the ground or run away from a thunderstorm while in an open area. In the first case, striking the ground, lightning can touch a person, and in the second, he becomes a kind of fast moving target.
  7. Talk on the phone with a wired connection, because lightning can get between the stretched wires of the poles.
  8. During a thunderstorm, you should not approach the electrical wiring, lightning rod, roof drainpipes, television or radio antenna, and it is also not recommended to stand near an open window.

What to do if there is a thunderstorm

Since the elements are unpredictable, and there are places that provoke a person to be struck by lightning, you should know what to do during a thunderstorm, being in an unsafe place.

If you are in a forest during a thunderstorm, you should avoid the proximity of trees such as oak, pine, poplar. According to statistics, it is they who most often attract lightning discharges, for this reason forest fires occur because of them. It is necessary to find a short section of the forest and hide there, squatting down, and taking the pose of the embryo. The trees themselves are natural lightning rods, so avoid standing next to tall trees.

If there is a thunderstorm in the field, you need to hide in some kind of depression - a ravine, a hole, you need to squat down, bending your head to your knees. You need to try to stay away from tall single objects and structures at a distance of at least 200 meters. You can not use the phone and any metal products, so as not to attract lightning discharges. When in the field, you should know that clay soil is more dangerous than rocky or sandy. Therefore, in no case should you lie on the ground if it is clay.

It’s especially dangerous to be near a reservoir in a thunderstorm, but if it so happened that you didn’t have time to leave the beach, you should make immediate attempts to do this, and even more so, immediately get out of the water. If you are inside the boat, you should immediately go ashore, if this is not possible, you need to change into dry clothes, drain the boat, make a tent from the shelter by covering it with a life jacket, a circle, rubber boots, and other insulating objects around and underneath. Awning should protect the boat from the penetration of water, but do not touch the surface of the reservoir.

In a private house

High-rise buildings are protected from lightning by lightning rods, but frequent and garden houses are in danger. To avoid danger, it is necessary to take measures:

  • Close all windows and doors. Inside the house can get ball lightning.
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances, radios from the mains.
  • Stop heating the stove, close the chimney.
  • Disable all communications
  • Move away from windows, doorways, metal objects, sockets.

If a thunderstorm is found while traveling by car, you need to stop moving away from solitary objects and desert terrain. You should close all windows, hide the antenna, turn off the radio, navigator, and cellular communications. Do not touch metal objects inside the machine, including door handles.

When in a mountainous area, you should immediately go down from the hills, move away from gutters and waterfalls, it is best to stand under a plumb line that is 5-6 times higher than a person’s height. Stand no closer than 2 meters to the plumb line. Shelter in crevices and caves is also suitable, but no closer than two meters from the walls. During a thunderstorm, you can not lean against the walls of the rock and pick up metal equipment.