Learn from my experience of what not to do if you are unlucky enough to get caught camping in lightning. A dream camping trip on the islands of Lake Texhoma on the Red River turned into a scary disaster.
There are some essential lightning safety tips if you plan to go camping. Take these precautions seriously to ensure the safety of your family.
Understand The Dangers Of Camping In A Thunderstorm
According to the National Weather Service, lightning kills 20 people annually in the United States annually. Storms can happen with little or no warning, so it’s crucial to be prepared.
When camping, you are at a higher risk to attract lightning if you are:
- in an open area
- near tallest object, such as trees
- In a tent
- near water or flooded areas
Take the necessary precautions.
If you are camping in an area where there is a chance of thunderstorms, make sure to:
- have a plan and know what to do if a storm approaches
- choose a campsite that is not in an open area or near tall objects
- spread out from groups
7 Steps To Prepare Before You Go And Take Action
When camping in an area prone to severe weather, it is essential to be prepared. The following are seven steps that can help you do just that:
- Know the weather forecast for your area. This will help you anticipate what type of weather and plan accordingly.
- Come up with a plan. If severe weather is expected, have a plan for what you will do if conditions worsen. This might mean retreating to your car if a lightning storm hits.
- Make sure you have a way to receive emergency alerts. Sign up for alerts from your local news station or emergency management agency to get updates on any potential danger.
- Have a packing list ready. When severe weather is imminent, or you hear thunder, you must have all your supplies ready to pack essentials like food, water, and clothing.
- Bring extra supplies. In addition to your regular camping gear, pack extras like tarps, tents, and flashlights.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. Be vigilant of changes in the weather and take safe shelter when necessary.
- Be prepared to evacuate if necessary. If conditions become too dangerous, know what routes you would take to evacuate safely
Invest in an NOAA Weather Radio
Several models of radios specifically designed for emergency weather notifications are available on the market. These radios will give you up-to-the-minute weather reports and can even be programmed to alert you when specific conditions are met, such as a severe thunderstorm warning in your area. Hand crack radios are also available, which do not require batteries and can be powered by cranking a handle.
Solar Charging Station
A solar charging station can be a lifesaver if severe weather knocks out power in your area. Using
What To Do If Storm Hits Campsite During The Event
1. If you are in a tent, unplug all electronics and devices.
2. Get out of the tent and away from it as quickly as possible.
3. Find safe shelter in a building, car, or enclosed area.
4. If no shelter is available, crouch down on the ground and cover your head with your hands.
5. Do not lie down on the ground.
6. Stay away from tall objects, such as trees and poles.
7. Keep yourself dry; a lightning strike can travel through your body more efficiently if you are wet.
8. Avoid metal objects like jewelry, belts, or zippers.
9. If someone is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 immediately and begin CPR if necessary.”
Know Where To Take Shelter If A SIorm Hits
Most public and private campgrounds have a designated storm shelter. If your campsite does not have a storm shelter, look for an enclosed building, such as a ranger station or bathhouse. Look near the public bathroom for information on storm protocols. Some tornado-prone areas have structures as designated refuges. If no buildings are available, seek shelter in a car or truck.
Make sure everyone in your group knows where to go if severe weather hits. Have a plan and make sure everyone knows what to do.
Once you are in your shelter, stay there until the storm has passed. Do not leave early, as conditions can quickly change.
Keep An Eye On Children And Pets.
Keep an eye on the kids and make sure they stay close. If you have pets, make sure they are close by and supervised, so they do not run off during the storm.
If conditions become too dangerous, know what routes you would take to evacuate safely. Make sure everyone in your group knows where to go and what to do if you need to leave.
Have A Plan B
No one wants to cancel a camping trip, but sometimes severe weather is unavoidable. If you have to cancel, have a backup plan. Know where you can go and what you can do if the campsite you plan to stay at is no longer an option.
Camping in stormy weather is no fun, especially for kids. You don’t want to become the one being evaluated or rescued. Be safe and camp another day with excellent weather.
Camping in stormy weather can be dangerous, especially if you are unprepared. Knowing what to do and where to go can help keep your family safe while camping during lightning strikes or other severe weather conditions. Have a plan B ready in case of an emergency. And most importantly, stay safe!
Is it safe to sleep in a tent during lightning?
Camping in stormy weather can be dangerous, especially if you are unprepared. Knowing what to do and where to go can help keep your family safe while camping during lightning strikes or other severe weather conditions.
Do tents attract lightning?
No, tents do not attract lightning. However, people and objects inside tents can be struck by lightning. Inside tents do not offer any protection from lightning.
Which state has the most lightning deaths?
Florida has the most lightning deaths. Followed by Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Colorado, and Alabama.
What items attract lightning?
Lightning rods are metal poles, such as flagpoles, towers, buildings, and fences. Trees and other tall objects such as hills or mountains can also be natural lightning rods.
Has anyone survived a lightning direct strike?
There have been documented cases of people surviving lightning strikes, but the odds are not in your favor. Lightning is a powerful force, and it’s not something to be taken lightly.