My swimming pool got hit by an adjacent lightning strike! The lightning strike hit a tree about 6 houses down from my home in Maryland. I heard the lightning strike at the time (midnight), and I still remember that it was so loud the beagles dived under the bed.
But the next morning, when I woke up, I looked out from my 2nd floor window and saw something that looked like two fried eggs floating in the pool. It took me about 2 minutes to realize that they were the pool lights, floating in the pool, still tethered by the electrical lines.
The lightning strike was so sharp and close that it broke the lights out of their plaster enclosures and now there they were, fully electrified, floating right in the water. It took me eight calls to find someone who would come and fix the lights, turn off the electricity and get the lights out of the pool.
If a lightning strike could do that from 6 houses away, what could it do to a person? Because it’s Lightning Safety Week, I looked up some interesting stats from the National Weather Service – check out these stats:
Your chance is being struck by lightning in your lifetime is 1 in 3000!
From 2006 – 2012, about 2300 people were struck by lightning and 238 people were struck and killed by lightning in the US.
2/3rds of the deaths were to people enjoying outdoor leisure activities.
82% of all fatalities were to men.
70% of the lightning deaths occurred in the months of June, July, and August.
Only 10% percent of people struck by lightning actually die, but 70% of those that survive
a lightning strike have serious long-term effects from the strike, including fear, depression and debilitating physical injuries.
STAY SAFER THIS SUMMER, and teach these tips to your kids, too.
- Get out of pools, away from beaches, lakes or ponds.
- Never stand by a tall tree during a lightning storm
- Drop or get away from metal objects like golf clubs, umbrellas, etc.
- Get indoors or into your car if you can’t get inside.
- Stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last flash you see.
And have a wonderful, active summer?