If you think it rained a lot in Central New York last month, you’d be right. It rained 10.13 inches this July! That’s compared to 2020’s 6.84 inches. And only 3.80 in 2018. If that weren’t enough, we’ve experienced severe flooding and dangerous thunderstorms.
As we all know, lightning comes before all of that thunder. And people think they know a lot about lightning. Just ask your buddies during a storm on the golf course. But it can be dangerous. So let’s bust a few myths about this spectacular but powerful phenomena.
Here’s what you may have heard. Then check out what the Insurance Information Institute tells us are the facts:
Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
Actually, lightning can strike the same place over and over again. This occurs more often to a tall, pointy, isolated object. Like the Empire State Building. It was once used as a lightning lab because it’s hit nearly 25 time per year.
Lightning only strikes taller objects.
Not true. It can hit the ground and not a tree. Cars instead of nearby telephone poles. Parking lots and not buildings.
If you don’t see rain or clouds, you’re safe.
Thing here is, lightning often strikes 3 miles or more from the storm. It’s even possible for it to strike up to 10 miles from origin. In this case, you might see it under a blue sky.
Your car’s rubber tires protect you.
No, but yes. Being in a car will protect you, but not because the tires are rubber. It’s the metal sides and roof that divert the lightning. Which means that convertibles, motorcycles, or cars with plastic or fiberglass shells offer no lightning protection.
If you’re outside during a storm, lie flat on the ground.
Nope. This is actually more dangerous because lightning generates electrical currents along the ground. Lying flat exposes more of your body to these currents, not less.
If you touch a lightning victim, you could be electrocuted.
The body doesn’t store electricity. If someone near you gets struck by lightning, you can immediately help them.
Metal on your body attracts lightning.
Close. The thing with metal is not that wearing it is dangerous, but being near it can be. Or touching metal objects such as a fence. If lightning does hit a metal fence, the fence can conduct the electricity a long distance away. That could electrocute you.
A house is completely safe from lightning.
For the most part your home is one of the safest places you can be. The thing is that you still must stay away from certain fixtures. Avoid any conducting path leading outside. This includes electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, plumbing, metal doors or metal window frames. And don’t stand near a window during the storm.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover a Lightning Strike?
Be assured that any damage lightning causes to your home is covered on your home insurance. The question is, do you have enough insurance on your home in the event of a catastrophic loss. Call us to go over the values. We use local construction costs to come up with the right amount of coverage. And at the best price.
So if you’re near lightning, here’s what you do. Get inside as quickly as you can. Inside a building away from the windows is your ticket to safely riding out the storm.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here. In Westchester County call Zak Scalzo at 914.246.0315 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.