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When lightning strikes

When lightning strikes

When lightning strikes

Two weekends ago my house was struck by lightning. Luckily, we were unharmed, but many of the electrical appliances suffered from the massive voltage. I am a renter who had to pay for the replacements and this is why I can’t stress enough the importance of renter’s insurance.

Storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes have become common visitors every year. Natural disasters devastate the country from one end to the other and all one can do is hope for the best, ensuring safety as best they can. These calamities have in common strong winds, massive amounts of water, and lightning. I’ve learned on my own expense the meaning of lightning, and I will surely respect it more due to this experience.

First, find shelter, get indoors and close all doors and windows. As scared as you might be, stay off the phone because the electrical surges caused by lightning can enter your home through the electrical wiring and the telephone line for this matter. If you use your cellphone, don’t have the headset on as that can easily turn you into an antenna.

Don’t use water in any way, you can take a shower, wash your hands or do the dishes after the storm is over. If lightning is imminent, you risk being electrocuted. Turn off your appliances (computers, TV, routers) and unplug them.

Invest in surge protectors; these are special safety plug units designed to protect specific items such as your computer, air conditioner, and other devices. These little savers will turn off electricity if lightning strikes, preventing fires and damage to individual items. Secure your entire home with lightning suppressors: devices that can diminish the damage caused by a bolt. They’re designed for the electrical system, for TV and cable antennas, as well as for your phone system.

Don’t get blinded by their beauty, one bolt is strong enough to illuminate a 100-watt light bulb for three months. Most of the lightning strikes average 2 to 3 miles long and carry 10,000 amps at 100 million volts and the temperature of a typical bolt is hotter than the surface of the sun.