||The Devastating Strike
Tips for lightning and storm safety
Lightning Fast Facts
Better Safe Than Sorry
- The average lightning strike is 6 miles long.
- The temperature of lightning's return stroke can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, the surface of the sun is around 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When the leading edge of a thunderstorm is within 10 miles, you are at immediate risk due to the possibility of lightning coming from anvil clouds. In fact, many lightning deaths and injuries occur with clear skies directly overhead.
- Lightning kills 100 or more people per year, almost more than any other weather event. Why don't we hear more about it? Because it usually kills people one at a time. Lightning is one of the most dangerous features of a thunderstorm.
While your chances of being struck by lightning are slim (an estimated 1 in 600,000), you can significantly improve these odds by following some common lightning safety rules when golfing:
Lightning First Aid
- Do not stand underneath a natural lighting rod such as a tall, isolated tree.
- Avoid projecting above the surrounding landscape as you would do if you were standing on a hilltop, in an open field, on the beach, or fishing from a small boat.
- Get out of and away from open water.
- Get away from your golf cart.
- Place your golf clubs on the ground away from you.
- Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, metal pipes, rails and other metallic paths which could carry lightning to you from some distance away.
- Avoid standing in small isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
- In a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees. In open areas, go to a low place such as a ravine or a valley.
- If you're hopelessly isolated in a level field of prairie and you feel your hair stand on end - indicating that lightning is about to strike - drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground!
- If you are in a group in the open, spread out, keeping people several yards apart.
Persons struck by lightning receive a severe electrical shock and may be burned, but they carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely. Someone who appears to have been killed by lightning often can be revived by prompt action.
The American Red Cross says that if a victim is not breathing, you should immediately begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, once every 5 seconds to adults and once every 3 seconds to infants and small children, until medical help arrives.
If both pulse and breathing are absent, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is necessary. CPR should only be administrated by properly trained individuals.