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Author Topic: Where is safest during a thunderstorm?  (Read 1850 times)

Offline Anne

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Where is safest during a thunderstorm?
« on: 05/06/2009 10:30:02 »
Anne  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Redi and Chris  

Great show!

I live in on top of a mountain at an altitude of 1000m. I am situated between two biomes and as such, I am subjected to loads of lighting storms.
  
I have come to live with the loss of most of my electronic equipment on a regular basis as the lighting does not always come with a storm and I don't get to disconnect the plugs on time!!

However on one occasion, a bolt came into the house through an exposed wire on the roof and then it felt like it went through me, hit the lounge wall, bounced back again through my 50kg dog and then back again   through me.   By this time the dog was around my neck, I was frazzled and trying to leave the house.    

However, I did not know where to go.   I know in an earth tremor you should stand under the door way, but in lighting, I don't know what to do.   Some one suggested I open the windows to let it out the house.   Another said close the curtains as it is attracted to the light.
  
What I would like to know from you is the following:
  
1) Where am I safe when this happens?   And why?
2) Is it true the car is the safest place?   And why?
3) Are the above suggestions in fact true?
4) What is the relationship between lighting and nitrogen?   
  
  
Many thanks for time
Kind regards
Anne Vilensky

What do you think?


 

Offline Don_1

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Where is safest during a thunderstorm?
« Reply #1 on: 05/06/2009 11:15:25 »
1) Somewhere else, 'cause the storm 'aint there.
2) You should be pretty safe in a car. See Faraday Cage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage
4) It is supposed to be good for getting nitrogen into an easily absorbed form for plants. More than that, I can't say. Perhaps a chemical whiz will be able to give you better info on that.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Where is safest during a thunderstorm?
« Reply #2 on: 05/06/2009 11:18:34 »
What happened to number 3?
 

Offline Don_1

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Where is safest during a thunderstorm?
« Reply #3 on: 05/06/2009 11:24:37 »
I never answer question #3, I'm allergic.
 

lyner

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Where is safest during a thunderstorm?
« Reply #4 on: 05/06/2009 12:58:58 »
Have you thought of putting a good 'lightning conductor' system on the top of your home? They are quite effective at removing the actual threat of lightning strike because they lower the level of Electric Field, locally. They are working all the time - not just when you get an actual strike - by producing a sphere of ions (harmless corona discharge) over the building, which increases the effective radius and reduces the voltage gradient so the lightning goes elsewhere..
A spike, coupled to a good Earth system by a good, fat, copper strip can be very effective and need cost no more than one dead computer. What do your neighbours do? Have any of them taken any preventative action?
 

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Where is safest during a thunderstorm?
« Reply #4 on: 05/06/2009 12:58:58 »

 

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