When there’s a thunderstorm, the National Weather Service recommends seeking a safe location, away from electrical systems, electronic equipment, and, yes, the tempting call of running water.
So, next time a storm hits, maybe it’s an excuse to delay washing dishes or take a rain check on that shower (no pun intended).
What to Do if Caught in a Thunderstorm
If you’re outdoors and cannot find a safe shelter:
- Avoid elevated areas: Lightning tends to strike the tallest objects.
- Stay away from tall trees: While they might seem like a refuge, they’re prime targets for lightning.
- Assume a ball-like position: If you can’t find shelter, squat low to the ground, but minimize contact. The idea is to make yourself a smaller target.
Lightning Safety Tips for Indoors
- Watch out for concrete: Avoid contact with concrete walls and floors, which might contain metal reinforcement.
- Skip the phone call: Corded phones are a no-no during thunderstorms. Even cell phones and other electronic equipment can pose risks if connected to chargers.
- Mind the heart: A direct strike can lead to blunt trauma, heart attacks and even muscle injuries.
While many may think the threat is exaggerated, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After all, nobody wants to be the person struck by lightning while belting out a song in the shower. Thunderstorms and showers might both involve water, but mixing the two? Not the brightest idea!
This article was updated in conjunction with AI technology, then fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.