Protection against lightning strikes

Appearance of lightnings in Slovenia is the largest in European scale, so we need to know how to protect us and our property. You will found out what you must do if storm catches you and where you have the most secure place during the storm.  You will also learn what to do if you can not find shelter  and how to act in case of injury due to lightning strike.

Slovenia is one of the countries with the highest lightning density strikes in Europe. Therefore it is important to know how to protect yourself if you found yourself in the middle of the storm. The key is to be prepared before the storm comes to us and that we do not plan trips to nature, without checking the weather forecast. If you are planning the outdoor activities, you must closely monitoring the weather forecast and any potential alarms that  Environment agency of Republic of Slovenia could release

What to do if we were captured by the storm

Before the lightning we are most safe in the grounded buildings or in the car with metal structure. The car protect us before lightning strikes only if we do not touch metal parts of the car. Outside where we can not find safe place, we can reduce the risk of lightning strike in several ways:

  • We do not stay in the tall places like mountain tops or ridges
  • We do not stay nearby tall tree or mountain overhang
  • We do not stay on the beach or in the water
  • We put down all larger metal objects like umbrella or hiking poles
  • We try to find dry place
  • We take shelter in the cabin, building with lightning protection or in the car
  • We do not touch metal objects or take shelter below them 
  • If storm catch us in the open we squat, we do not stand, walk or lying down between the storm
  • When the storm is over we wait at least 30 minutes in the shelter

Storm position

If the storm catch us in the open and we can not find safe place to stay, we put down all metal objects like umbrella or hiking sticks. We squad and step with our feet together as much as it possible. If we were in the group we spread out. If we have backpack bag or something similar we squad on it.  As the storm usually lasts for a long time we can also sit on the floor and put our legs to our self as much we can do. This position is called "storm position". The key here is that we are as low as possible and that we touch the ground with the minimum part of our body. We never lie down on the floor.

Safe places

During the storm we are most safe in the closed building with proper lightning protection. Semi-open buildings like kiosks, canopies and other similar objects are not safe. we do not plug out electrical devices during the storm, we try to do this before storm came to us. We do not touch different cables and we do not use wired phone.  Using mobile phone during the storm do not represent any threats. We do not stand by the windows or near by metal objects. We also do not pore water, because electric current could also come throught the water when lightning strike.  Therefore we do not wash our hands, taking a shower or wash dishes during the storm.

What to do in case of injury

If there is a injury caused by the lightning strike, we must act quickly. We immediately call the emergency medical assistance. The victims of lightning strike have no electric charge in them and can therefore be touched without risk. If it is necessary we preform CPR. Even if the person that is hit by the lightning doesn't show any sings of injury, must be examined by a doctor.

If a electrical appliances caches fire, we must try to safely disconnected appliance from the main power and not extinguished fire by the water. Suitable is only powder extinguisher. If we can't extinguish the fire, we call the fire department at 112. If lightning strike smashes electric poles or break electric wires, we don't touch them and inform the competent department. If wires falls into the car and driver can't drive over, all persons must stay in the car and must not touch the metal parts of the car.

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