FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Lightning Strikes

Jul 1, 2015
2015 / June 2015

Lightning is one of the most underrated severe weather hazards, killing about the same number of people as tornadoes and more than hurricanes. Lightning kills about 50 people in the United States and about 2,000 people worldwide each year, injuring hundreds more. Lightning can occur anywhere there is a thunderstorm, with the most frequent strikes in July.

An estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes occur in the United States each year. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm watches and warnings for storms that produce damaging winds or hail, warnings are not always issued for lightning.

Lightning is a rapid discharge of electrical energy in the atmosphere; the rapid heating and cooling of the air creates a shock wave that results in a clap of thunder. During a thunderstorm, winds cause the various precipitation particles to collide, causing small ice crystals to lose electrons while larger particles of soft hail gain electrons.

Upward winds redistribute these particles and their charges. The soft hail causes a negative charge near the middle and lower part of the cloud, causing a positive charge to build up on the ground. When the difference between the negative charge in the cloud and the positive charge on the ground becomes large, the negative charge moves toward the ground, creating a conductive path in a zigzag shape as it jumps through segments in the air. When the negative charge connects with the ground’s positive charge, the charged current surges through the jagged path, creating a visible flash of lightning. Danger results from the millions of volts of electricity, the heat and the thunderous blast from the rapidly expanding air.

Five types of lightning strikes can harm people. Ground current occurs with each strike and contributes to half of all lightning fatalities. The current hits an object and spreads out through the ground; to avoid a ground strike, it helps to keep your feet together. A side flash jumps from tall objects like trees when they are struck; avoid seeking shelter under trees or tall objects. Conduction, responsible for most indoor lightning injuries, occurs when touching metal such as railings, cables and fences. Lightning can travel long distances through wires and metals. Direct strikes cause 3 to 5 percent of lightning fatalities; avoid high places and open ground to decrease risk. Streamers discharge when lightning strikes are nearby. Although not as common as other types of fatal incidents, victims caught in streamers are at risk for death or injury.

All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain, as far as 10 miles from rainfall. Many lightning deaths occur ahead of storms or after they have passed. Do not be fooled by blue skies; if you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to pose a threat.

While a small percentage of lightning strike victims die, many survivors must live with serious lifelong pain and neurological disabilities. After being struck, people are often confused and do not know what occurred. Although a survivor may suffer burns or fractures (from a fall), the greatest concern is the effect on the heart and nervous system.

A victim may experience difficulty with mental processes and multitasking, short-term memory loss, forgetfulness, distractibility, personality changes, irritability and depression. Physical effects can be long-term and include intense headaches, body pain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, impaired eyesight, ear ringing, ruptured eardrums, hearing loss, loss of consciousness, severe electric shock, seizures, paralysis, burns to the skin, damage to internal organs and tissues, and trauma. Other longterm effects include cataracts, abnormal gait, joint dysfunction, muscle spasms and dry eyes.

To avoid a lightning threat, have a safety plan in mind. Identify a safe place and how long it takes to get there. Before going outdoors, check the forecast for thunderstorms; consider postponing activities to avoid a dangerous situation. Monitor the weather for signs of a developing thunderstorm such as darkening skies, increasing winds or lightning flashes.

If you hear thunder, even a distant rumble, immediately move to safety. Fully enclosed buildings with wiring and plumbing provide the best protection. Sheds, picnic shelters, tents and covered porches do not protect you. If a sturdy building is not nearby, get into a hard-topped metal vehicle and close the windows. Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.

Do not use a corded phone except in an emergency; cordless phones and cellphones are safe to use in a thunderstorm. Keep away from electrical equipment and wiring. Water pipes conduct electricity, so do not take a bath or shower or use other plumbing during a storm.

If someone near you is struck by lightning, act fast. It is safe to touch the victim. Cardiac arrest is the immediate cause of death for those who die from lightning strikes. Some deaths can be prevented if the victim receives immediate and proper first aid. Call for help. Call 911. Do not delay CPR if the person is unresponsive or not breathing. Use an automatic external defibrillator if available. If possible, move the victim to a safer place. Lightning can strike twice; do not become a victim.

A portable, battery-powered, tone-alert NOAA Weather All Hazards Radio enables you to monitor forecasts for changing weather conditions and severe thunderstorm watches or warnings. A free app for NOAA also is available for Android phones, iPhones or iPads.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
eFlyer Reviews
Jun 23, 2021

Hoffman Haus Review

A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Lufthansa, Viking Cruises Partner to Offer Customers Direct Flights to Malta

In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Indianapolis International Airport Opens Art Gallery

Indianapolis International Airport officially opened its first-ever art gallery, The KIND Gallery, named after the airport’s international airport code. It is initially featuring artists from Harrison Center for the Arts.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Allianz Survey Reveals 2021 Summer Vacation Spending to Shatter Records

Allianz Partners USA’s 13th annual Vacation Confidence Index estimates Americans’ total spend for summer vacation travel will cross the $150 billion mark for the first time in the Index’s 10-year history, a 160 percent increase over spend in summer 2020 and 50 percent over spend in a robust 2019.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

Boca Raton Resort & Club Announces New Partnership

Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.

Daily
Jun 21, 2021

The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”

The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.