Cast with a graphite fishing rod from an aluminum boat, and you could very well catch the big one--a jolt from above. Nearly 1,500 people are hit by lightning every year. Most of the 150 to 300 fatalities are caused by cardiac and respiratory arrest.
Lightning cuts loose at a speed of one-hundredth to one-thousandth of a second, with a charge of 50 million to 2 billion volts. Chances of dodging a thunderbolt are slim, so stay clear.
If you're indoors when a lightning storm hits, stay off the phone and away from metal window frames and storm doors. If you're driving, stay inside the car. Outdoors, avoid shelters that stand in the open. Find low ground. Shun single trees. Do not lie flat on the ground. Instead, squat, clasp hands around knees, feet together, touching. That way, if a bolt strikes the ground, the current will leapfrog over your feet and dive back into the ground. Later, folks will be thunderstruck when you tell them about the time you played footsie with lightning.
Briefly . . .
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