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BlackBerry Storm / Thunder Storm Advisories

blackberrythunderstorm.jpgIf you were able to weather the BlackBerry Storm lines and get a BlackBerry Storm you may be wondering as Southern California preps for mudslides and our own storm rages, "Should you use a BlackBerry Storm, aka Thunder during a storm?"

The answer is not easy to determine.  But if you go by the motto, "Safety first," BlackBerry Storm use during a storm should definitely be curtailed outdoors.

Personally, I would not use the BlackBerry Storm, outside, during lightning or thunder.  Cell phones have antenna, which can attract the lightning.  It  can even be worse, because humans usually survive being hit by lightning due to a "flash-over" effect, because skin does not conduct electricity into the the body.  A letter in the British Medical Journal from doctors reported that a cell phone can interrupt the flash-over, direct lightning into the body  and cause internal damage which can result in cardiac arrest and death. They cite cases where people using cell phones were injured due to lightning.

A lightning expert at The University of Florida, Vladimir Rakov, doesn't think that a cell phone can affect the outcome of a lightning strike but still advises, "Don't remain outdoors during a thunderstorm, whether you carry a cell phone or not."

Clearly, water may damage your BlackBerry Storm.  RIM advises in its safety manual to keep your BlackBerry Storm away from liquids, therefore use in the rain could damage the device.  If you work out in the field or in a carreer where the BlackBerry Storm may be exposed to water, a water proof case is a must.  Otterbox is expected to have a case out in January.

During a lightning storm you can seek safety in car if it is  a hard-topped
car, SUV, minivan, or bus. But you have make
sure all doors are
closed and windows
rolled up. Do not touch

any metal surfaces, says the National Weather Service. They claim that it is safe to use a cell phone during a lightning storm, because there is no direct path between you and the lightning. They do advise people not to use corded telephone unless it's an emergency.

The best safety zone is inside a building during a thunder storm.

The BlackBerry Storm has many features that would come in handy during a thunder storm, indoors, such as full HTM web browsing for weather information, email for letting your friends and family know what's happening. GPS for turn-by-turn directions, media player for viewing videos or listening to music and video recording to record the flash of lightning from inside. The BlackBerry Storm has about five hours of battery life, so if the power goes out, you may want to shut it off for while to make sure you can weather the storm.

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