....and from my front porch....
It turns out I should not have been out on my porch in the middle of a thunderstorm. My cat knew better. She was hiding behind the couch in the basement. Lightning safety is not something to be ignored. You don't have to be outdoors to be harmed. Did you know these precautions (from the NOAA site) should be taken:
- Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
- Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
- Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
- Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.
And if you are caught outside you should:
- Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
- Never lie flat on the ground
- Never shelter under an isolated tree
- Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
- Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
- Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)
Since 1982 there have been an average of 53 deaths per year from lightning, which may not seem like very many--except if it's you.
There are other precautions, too, that should be taken to protect your house and belongings which you can find on the NOAA site. Because we live on a 1,000-foot mountain the first owner of our house installed lightning rods. We added a whole-house surge protector. Be sure to check out the myths and facts link.
Lightning can be quite beautiful--if viewed from a safe distance. You can watch the National Geographic's program on the science of lightning and the effects of a strike here.