The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has issued warnings of heavy rain showers accompanied by strong lightening strikes between 2pm and 10 in the night. Here are some important tips to stay safe during severe thunder storms.
» Move inside a safe building as soon as the skies show the warning signs of a thunder storm.
» Do not stand in open spaces or hill tops. Even if you are stuck in such a place, bend down, cover your ears and place your neck between the knees.
» Do not go to the front yard or the terrace to pick up clothes from the cloth lines when the rain starts.
» Disconnect the antenna of the television and the cables of phones. Switch off and unplug the computers and other electronic appliances. Do not touch any electric appliances when there is a thunder storm.
» Make sure that the kids do not play outside the house, terrace or in open spaces between 2 pm and 10 pm in the night.
» Avoid taking baths when there is lightning and thunder. It is better to stay inside the house without touching the walls or floor.
» Turn off the main switch. It would be better if there is a circuit breaker which cuts off power when electricity rushes into the cables or lines. Make sure that the earthing system in the house functions properly.
» Do not touch the receiver of the land phone. However, many people falsely believe that one would be struck by lightning if they talk on the mobile phones.
» Do not stand near the windows or door. Sit on the floor, in the centre of the room, wearing a slipper or footwear.
» Remove all metals including ornaments from the body.
» Do not stand under a tree when there is lightning and thunder storm. It would be unwise to stand under a tall tree that stands aloof.
» Stay away from water bodies like rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. Do not turn on the water taps.
» While travelling, roll down the windows and stay inside the vehicle.
» Insure home appliances to avoid financial losses when they get damaged during thunder storms.
First aid when lightning strikes
If someone gets struck by lightning, rush him/her to the nearby hospital. Immediate medical attention should be given. Artificial respiration should be initiated without any delay. In most cases, the person dies when he/she stops breathing as the impact is on the back of the brain. It is a misconception that a person would be electrocuted by physical contact with someone who has been struck by lightning.