Tag Archives: a to z disasters

Surviving a Lightning strike in La Yacata

lightning map.jpg

Did you know that Mexico has the highest fatalities due to a lightning strike in all of North, Central and South America? Mexico averages 220 deaths per year. At least 7,300 people were killed by lightning strikes in Mexico between 1979 and 2011. More than 45% of the deaths were young males between 10 and 19 years of age and most strikes happen the first half of the rainy season, between June and August. The state of Guanajuato, where we live, has the fourth highest death count. And as we have a son in the high-risk age category, these statistics trouble me.

According to researchers, this extraordinarily high number of deaths due to lightning strikes is not an equal opportunity phenomenon. “Fatalities largely depend on socio-economic factors and not the frequency of lightning strikes,” said Ronald Holle, a global lightning expert at Vaisala Inc in Arizona.

Take for example the unfortunate lightning strike that killed 7 and injured two in a farming community near the towns of Mesa Cuata and El Terrero in Guanajuato state. Three female farm workers, ages 19, 32 and 44 were killed along with four children ages 3, 5, and 14. All were struck while working out in an unsheltered field. Many houses in Mexico, including those in La Yacata, do not have electricity or indoor plumbing, two ways that lightning can be channeled harmlessly to the ground. Houses made of adobe often do not even have metal rebar built into their structures which can also divert lightning strikes.

lightning local

Lightning damaged a building June 2016 in Uriangato, the town next to us.

So what can be done to maximize your survival during a lightning storm?

Take shelter. No place is safe outside in a thunderstorm. My grandmother always made us come inside from the porch during storms, but that’s not something generally done here in Mexico.

The shelter should be a building that has electricity, phone lines or plumbing. The electric, telephone or plumbing lines will attract the lightning and channel it. But wait! La Yacata has no electricity or phone lines and although we have plumbing, our tubes are mostly plastic. Fortunately, lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring and that we have plenty of. (See Up on the roof that nearly wasn’t)


Metal bars are the foundation of our roof.

If you take shelter in a vehicle, it must be a vehicle with a metal roof and sides. The metal will divert the lightning around you. If the vehicle has no roof, like a motorcycle, or is made of fiberglass, it is not a safe vehicle in which to take shelter.

If you are already indoors, do not use your phone, computer or other electrical equipment. No problem in La Yacata! (See La Yacata still has no electricity) Stay away from sinks, baths, and faucets. Stay off porches (Thanks, Grandma!). Stay away from windows and doors. Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

survive lightning

If you are outside and can not reach adequate shelter, move away from hills, mountain ridges, and peaks. La Yacata is in a valley. Do not lie on the ground. Do not take shelter under a tree or rocky overhang. There aren’t too many trees in La Yacata and the rocky overhangs typically are already occupied with skunk or fox dens. Get away from ponds, lakes, pools and other bodies of water. Again, no problem in La Yacata as there is no natural water source.(See Water Woes) (See Also Lightning Strike kills 2 in Playa del Carmen) Stay away from barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, silos or other objects that may attract the lightning. There are several lots that have barbed wire, but it is easy to avoid those areas.

Stay away from areas that have already been struck by lightning. Lightning can strike twice and often will. Even if it is not raining, if you can hear thunder, you are at risk for a lightning strike. Lightning can strike from 10 to 15 miles from a thunderstorm. Anvil lightning can strike over 50 miles from thunderstorms.

So there you have it!

Knowing these simple facts will help you survive a lightning strike–in La Yacata or wherever you are.

rainbow over la yacata




Filed under Carnival posts, Electricity issues, Safety and Security, Water issues

Surviving an Apocalypse in La Yacata

I don’t consider myself a Prepper per se, but I find that our aims (the Preppers and Me) are often very similar. With that in mind, I’m recommending La Yacata as a Bug-Out Location (a place to go in the event of a disaster). Of course, if I were truly a Prepper, I wouldn’t give you the location of my secret bunker. After all, you might tell the Zombies where I am.

Surviving an Apocalypse in La Yacata

I love living in La Yacata, despite its hardships, but it may seem like a stretch of the imagination for me to say that La Yacata is the place to be in the event of an Apocolypse. Maybe a little venture into word origins is in order.

So what is an Apocalypse?

The term Apocalypse is actually not a scary thing. It comes from the Greek and literally means uncovering or unveiling of knowledge.

Thus, in the bible book of Revelations, otherwise known as the Apocalypse of John, the apostle John records his unveiled knowledge of the end of the known world. In his visions, he saw the ultimate victory of good over evil. Not something that would inspire fear, provided you are on the right side.

In Prepper terminology, this event would be known as TEOTWAKI (The End of the World As we Know It) which doesn’t mean the end of the world, just the end of the known world, implying that there will be something on the other side of the Apocalypse. Going back to the apostle John, his vision included something of what was on the other side of that battle of Armageddon, the beginning of a 1000 reign of Christ and a new heaven and new earth. As for what comes after that thousand year stretch of prosperity, I expect it would be another Apocalypse.

The Aztec also had beliefs about Apocalypses that are similar to the apostle John. They believed that there had been four worlds (called Suns) before the present one. The previous 4 worlds had been created then destroyed by catastrophic events caused by the gods. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Aztecs were living in what they believed to be the Fifth Sun (world) and in fact, felt they were the chosen people of the Sun God. In order to show all due respect to their god, they sacrificed humans on a massive scale to keep the world from ending. Ironically, in part, it was the excessive sacrificing that caused the internal rifts that made the inhabitants ripe for a revolution which the Spaniards played on in order to gain supporters for their conquest causing the “Aztec Apocalypse” (See La Malinche) So this internal strife, disease brought by the Spanish and ecological collapse caused by excessive exploitation of the natural resources all played a hand in the Aztec demise, but more about those in later posts.

The current mistaken common belief that the end of the world as we know it is the end of THE WORLD has caused all sorts of hysteria. Look at all that hullabaloo about 2012 being the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. What people didn’t seem to get in their panic is that yes, it was the end of a “world” but it also marked the beginning of another.

The Mayans believed that three previous worlds had been created and destroyed. Humans didn’t arrive on the planet until the current, fourth world. This fourth epoch would end December 21, 2012, or Mayan date It didn’t mean that the planet would be destroyed, just that an age was at an end and another ready to begin.

So, endings and beginnings aside, I still believe La Yacata to be the place for the best chance of survival in the event of catastrophic events. And I’ll tell you why.

Just to make it fun, I will be addressing different potential apocalypse-making disasters in alphabetical order this month with the A to Z Blogging Challenge. You’ll be able to see all the links below at the end of the month.


REM It’s the end of the world as we know it

A to Z reasons why La Yacata is the place to be WTSHTF (When the Sh*t hits the Fan)



C-climate change


E-EMP Attack


G-global economic collapse


I-impact of an asteroid



L-lightning strike

M-martial law

N-nuclear disaster

O-oil shortage




S-solar storm


U-UFO invasion

V-volcanic eruption

W-wind storm

X-toxic cloud





Filed under Carnival posts