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Lightning Can Do Shocking Things

Lightning can injure people even when they are not directly struck, such as when it strikes a tree and creates a side flash injuring those who are standing nearby.

According to the National Weather Service, being struck directly or indirectly causes injuries to the nervous system and the brain. Some of the results:

Memory loss, personality shifts or depression.

Fatigue and sleep disorders.

Burns, hearing problems, light sensitivity, dizziness and headache.

Protect yourself by staying out of its path.  Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the area where it is raining.  When you hear thunder, you are within striking distance for lightning. Seek safe shelter immediately. Get to a sturdy building or an enclosed car.

Inside a home or building, stay off corded phones, computers and any equipment that puts you in direct contact with electricity.  Stay away from indoor and outdoor pools, tubs, showers and other plumbing that could conduct electricity.

The effect of conducted current from a lightning flash may range from tingling shock to a massive current diverted from a poorly grounded electric power pole through the wiring system.

When you are inside, wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before going outdoors.  This could seem like a long time, but lightning can strike even after the rain turns to drizzle.

This article was produced by Standard Mutual Insurance Company.

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