The Lightning Crouch

You may have heard that if you can't find a shelter, you should lie down flat on your stomach. Well, doing that is NOT safe at all. If lightning hits someplace near you and travels through the ground, it could pass through your whole body and electrocute you.

Lightning safety experts have invented a "lightning crouch" that is very important to know about if you are caught in a thunder storm and you can't find a shelter. If you think that this position looks hard to do, you are right. It is. So practice it until you can stay in it for several minutes, because it could save your life. There are several reasons for doing the lightning crouch.

- In the lightning crouch, you are a smaller target. Lightning usually hits the tallest thing around and this is one time that you don't want to be tall. Remember that it is not safe to lie flat on the ground.

- With your heels together, if lightning hits the ground, electricity goes through the closest foot, up to your heel and then transfers to the other heel and then goes back to the ground again. If you don't put your heels together, lightning could go through your heart and possibly kill you.

- You put your hands over your ears to protect them from thunder.

The lightning crouch is not as easy to do as it looks. If you have a back pack on, like in the picture, you might want to slip it off. I suggest that you practice doing it with your family, friends and teachers. You can make a game of seeing who can stay in it the longest without falling over.

REMEMBER though that if you can get inside DO SO and stay there until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder. The lightning crouch is a LAST RESORT and is not a guarantee of safety!

When Thunder Roars - Go Indoors!

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