And our resident meteorologist is....

...Kat! ME!

Not really, but my colleagues were getting a kick out of listening to me answer various questions about lightning and lightning rods as they relate to houses yesterday, and dubbed me the resident meteorologist. Just give me a green screen and a teleprompter...but mostly the teleprompter... and I am *ready*.

How many people are struck by lightning?
In 2005, according to Statistical Abstract of the United States, there were 32 deaths and 309 injuries. (I discovered later that the National Weather Service does break their hazard statistics down by state, location, age and gender. Everyone was outside, and the majority of deaths were people who were in the open).

Do lightning rods help protect my home?
From the National Weather Service, lightning rods will not prevent your building from being struck. They actually INCREASE it by making your house TALLER. The purpose of the lightning rod is to direct the current from the lightning to the ground along a preferred path instead of to the house. However, this works only if the rod is connected to the ground with heavy gauge wire.

How should I protect my house?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a number of suggestions to protect the equipment and the people inside houses, including staying off of corded phones, refraining from leaning against concrete walls, avoiding contact with your plumbing units, and unplugging your appliances before the storm arrives.

No comments: