Lightning clipart

Lightning usually kills  5-10 people in Australia every year and needs to be taken seriously in the outdoors (though only about 30% of those struck actually die and the incidence of long-term disability is low). Luckily lightning usually broadcasts its presence in advance. 
 
Action – Estimate the distance to the approaching lightning by counting the seconds (the ‘flash-bang time’) between the lightning flash and the thunder. It takes 3 seconds for the sound to travel one kilometre so dividing the flash-bang time by 3 gives the approximate distance to the lightning.

If lightning is striking within 10km of you (or less than 30 seconds flash-bang time) shelter inside a building or vehicle if you can. Avoid high ground (and being the highest point in the vicinity) and isolated tall objects such as a tree in a clearing, overhanging cliffs or caves, or poles and towers.  If you do need  to shelter in a cave, stay near the cave mouth (away from the back wall) on insulated material. Do not stand near conductive objects such as fences and metal poles, though inside a vehicle is safer than outside. Remove metal objects (e.g. mobile phone) from your head/body. If you are swimming, leave the water, as even fresh water is conductive. 
 
If caught in the open far from shelter, crouch alone with feet together. When standing near a strike, the current travelling along the ground can travel up one leg and down the other if your feet are apart. Make your feet the only contact with the ground or objects. If possible, insulate yourself from the ground by sitting on your pack or crouching on an insulated material like a closed cell mat. Members of a party should space themselves out about 10m apart. If your clothes are wet, you are less likely to be seriously injured if directly struck, as most of the charge will conduct through the wet clothes rather than your body. 
 
Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before moving on.
 
If someone gets struck by lightning it is safe to touch them after the strike.They may require immediate CPR.
 
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