When you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer, being struck by lightning may seem like a 1-in-a-million chance, but it happens. In fact, nearly half of lightning fatalities between 2010-2011 (48% and 62%, respectively) were attributed to sport and recreation, according to the National Weather Service.
As an active person who likes to go outdoors to exercise, never assume you can’t be struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. The best way to avoid lightning is to plan ahead by monitoring the weather and go indoors if you get stuck in a storm. If you are bike riding, the National Weather Service recommends pulling over to a safe shelter if possible and waiting 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before resuming your ride. If you are outdoors at a picnic and a storm is brewing, better to jump into the safety of your car until it passes through. If you are out camping in “backcountry,” meaning 30 minutes or more from modern vehicles or buildings, you are more vulnerable to lightning since there are no safe places.
Check out this nifty video for staying safe during a storm in the wilderness:
Whether you’re an athletic trainer leading an outdoor bootcamp or human resources worker planning your company’s annual softball outing, it’s your responsibility to keep people out of harm’s way. A few easy safety precautions provided by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association will help you put a safety plan in place.
“All individuals, particularly those who are in charge of sports and recreational activities, should be aware of the hazards, establish and follow appropriate guidelines and ensure that those around them do so,” said Katie Walsh, a professor at East Carolina University who chaired the position statement writing group. “Proper preparation and notifying participants of lightning danger is critical.”
Click here to read the full statement.
Source: NASA's Science News