Monday, March 3, 2008

Fear of Lightning Storms


Nervous Persons Often Victims of Needless Suffering

The keen suffering which some undergo just in advance of or during a thunderstorm is of a dual nature. The sense of impending danger alarms and terrifies, but there is also a depression of spirits which is physical and real brought about by some as yet unknown relation between the nervous system and conditions of air pressure, humidity and purity. The suffering due to depression and partial exhaustion requires from those who are strong sympathy rather than ridicule.

The suffering due to alarm and fright, however, is unnecessary. It is largely the work of the imagination. To a nervous nature there is something appalling in the wicked, spiteful gleam of the lightning and the crash and tumult of thunder. But such a one should remember that the flash is almost always far distant and that thunder can do no more damage than the low notes of a church organ.

The question is often asked, "Do trees protect?" The answer is that the degrees of protection will vary with the character of the tree and its distance from a water course. An oak is more liable to lightning stroke than a beech. The character of the wood, the area of leafage, the extent and depth of root, will determine the liability to stroke.

Another question which is often asked is whether there is danger aboard a large steamship during a thunderstorm. On the contrary, there are few safer places. Sufficient metal with proper superficial area is interposed in the path of the lightning and its electrical energy converted into harmless heat and rapidly dissipated.

Accidents occur chiefly because the victims generally place themselves in the line of greatest strain and thus form part of the path of discharge. for this reason it is not wise to stand under trees, near flagpoles or masts, in doorways, on porches, close to fireplaces or near barns. Those who are not exposed in any of these ways may feel reasonably safe. It should be remembered in the event of accident that lightning does not always kill, but more often results in suspended animation than in somatic death. Therefore, in case of accident, try to restore animation, keep the body warm and send for a physician without delay. — Century.

No comments: