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Lighting Strikes

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With the recent deaths from lighting, what is the opinion of everyone on the board as to whether National/Councils/Local Troops should be ready with some kind of policy that the troop would use to help prevent lighting strikes.


With most troops gearing up for the new school year, I'm sure that more than a few new parents are going to be asking what the troop does when they find themselves in a thunderstorm. I would hope most troops know the correct things to do and follow them.


This Sat. our troop is having a leadership meeting for the new year and I'm thinking about approaching the subject of having a firm policy about what we do and traing for the boys. We've had dicussion on this board about not bugging out because of inclement weather but still not putting the boys in harms way. Most times when you find yourselves caught out there is only so much you can do, but are we sure were doing all we can?


Just wanted to get some feed back from this board and open it up for discussion.

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BSA already has a policy -


From the Guide to Safe Scouting :




The summits of mountains, crests of ridges, slopes above timberline, and large meadows are extremely hazardous places to be during lightning storms. If you are caught in such an exposed place, quickly descend to a lower elevation, away from the direction of the approaching storm, and squat down, keeping your head low. A dense forest located in a depression provides the best protection. Avoid taking shelter under isolated trees or trees much taller than adjacent trees. Stay away from water, metal objects, and other substances that will conduct electricity long distances.


By squatting with your feet close together, you have minimal contact with the ground, thus reducing danger from ground currents. If the threat of lightning strikes is great, your group should not huddle together but spread out at least 15 feet apart. If one member of your group is jolted, the rest of you can tend to him. Whenever lightning is nearby, take off backpacks with either external or internal metal frames. In tents, stay at least a few inches from metal tent poles.




Stay away from open doors and windows, fireplaces, radiators, stoves, metal pipes, sinks, and plug-in electrical appliances.


Don't use hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, or electric razors.


Don't use the telephone; lightning may strike telephone wires outside.


Don't take laundry off the clothesline.


Don't work on fences, telephone lines, power lines, pipelines, or structural steel fabrications.


Don't handle flammable materials in open containers.


Don't use metal objects, such as fishing rods and golf clubs.


Golfers wearing cleated shoes are particularly good lightning rods.


Stop tractor work, especially when the tractor is pulling metal equipment, and dismount. Tractors and other implements in metallic contact with the ground are often struck by lightning.


Get out of the water and off small boats.


Stay in the car if you are traveling. Automobiles offer excellent lightning protection.


When no shelter is available, avoid the highest object in the area. If only isolated trees are nearby, the best protection is to crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from isolated trees as the trees are high.


Avoid hilltops, open spaces, wire fences, metal clotheslines, exposed sheds, and any electrically conducted elevated objects.



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I wonder if the problem is awareness. If you can hear thunder, you should seek shelter. If you do not hear thunder again for thirty minutes, it is safe to leave the shelter.


Every group should have a weather-alert radio in case of emergency. NOAA is broadcasting other special alerts also. These radios can be found with new technology that will detect the area that is alerted. You input the areas that you want to receive alerts and only those come through.


Keep safe.

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