A 49-year-old woman was struck by lightning last night while running in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa.
The force of the bolt was enough to knock the woman down, resulting in cuts and bruises on her hands, face and knees. She was taken to a hospital and is now in stable condition.
Tips for when lightning strikes:
1) Avoidance is the best policy.
Check the weather before you leave for your run. If they’re calling for thunder showers, opt to delay, or choose to run inside. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 30 minutes from the last strike of lightning, or sound of thunder.
2) Find a safe place.
If you do get caught in a storm, seek shelter immediately. A car is your best option, as electricity will flow along the outer shell of the vehicle without penetrating the inside. Contrary to popular belief, cars are not safer due to their rubber tires.
3) Tall trees are not your friend.
Another common belief is that standing near a tall tree leaves one protected, as you’re no longer the tallest target to strike. However, there is a type of lightning strike known as a side flash, which occurs when a nearby object is struck and part of the current jumps to another object. Standing near a tall tree increases the chances of this occurring.
4) Call for help.
If you, or anyone around you is struck by lightning, call 911 immediately. It is cases like these that remind runners of the importance of carrying a cell-phone and some sort of identification while running.