Lightning Strike: Sending a Shock into Our Lives

May 27, 2015

As most of us can recall, some of the most damaging storms have occurred during sweet summer time. No matter the kind of storm, lightning typically always plays a major toll in the damage done. If you haven’t yet experienced the havoc of a lightning strike in your life, consider yourself very fortunate. Lightning kills nearly 100 people in the United States per year, and causes billions of dollars of property damage. With that, it is important to be prepared and stay safe if Mother Nature decides to send a major “shock” into your life.

Facts about Lightning

Out of all of the weather hazards in the world, a lightning bolt is one of the most dangerous.
Don’t believe it? A bolt of lightning can travel at around 140,000 miles per hour and reach temperatures of over 50,000 F, which is hot enough to turn sand into glass! So, what creates lightning? In short, lightning is simply an electrical discharge of nature with very short duration, but, as you just read, very high voltage. It can strike within a cloud (intra-cloud lightning), between two clouds (CC lightning), or between a cloud and the ground (CG lightning).

Damages of Lightning

In accordance with the facts above, it is obvious that lightning can cause some serious damage. When people think of damage caused by a lightning strike, they tend to think about the direct, physical damage to the property. For example, a lightning bolt strikes a home and causes a fire within the home, or perhaps, the lightning causes a short out of devices like computers or a building’s electrical system. Although these are most certainly ways lightning strikes can cause damage, lightning can also damage a property by consequential damage. For example, a lightning bolt may strike a nearby tree, causing it to fall and damage your home, making it uninhabitable. It is important to stay safe from the numerous ways lightning can cause damage, not just the obvious ones.

Safety Tips

The dangers of lightning should always be taken seriously. Here are a few ways you and your family can stay safe in the event lightning strikes.

Be aware by checking the weather forecast

Go indoors to a safe enclosed shelter

Crouch close to the ground but DO NOT lie down. When lightning strikes it causes electrical currents on the top of the ground which can be deadly over 100 feet away. It is important to be low, but also be touching the ground as little as possible.

Avoid water, electrical equipment, and corded phones. Lightning can travel through a buildings plumbing and electrical system.

Make sure the property is safe to enter after the storm, by making sure there are no downed electrical lines or no “live wires.”

If you have questions about damage caused by a lightning strike or to see if you are protected under your current policy, contact Knapp Tedesco Insurance Agency at (515) 232-7060 or We look forward to serving you.