What to Do if a Thunderstorm Catches You Outside | SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews
Thunderstorms can be frightening no matter where they occur, but if one catches you while you are outside and away from shelter, it can be absolutely terrifying to endure. While checking weather alerts is always a wise thing to do before heading out, storms tend to pop up suddenly this time of year as they thrive off of the heat and humidity of long summer days.
While being in a building during a thunderstorm is the safest option (with being in your vehicle a close second), if you are away from buildings and cars when a storm strikes, knowing what to do next is key.
How to Seek Shelter From a Storm if You Are Outdoors
Get to low ground. Lightning tends to take the most direct route to get to the ground, which is why it commonly strikes the tallest object in the vicinity. While this is not an absolute, the chances of being struck are certainly reduced if you are situated on low ground. Avoid hills or wide-open spaces, and try to crouch in a less exposed area if possible.
Avoid being near tall objects. Being extremely close to an object that is struck by lightning is almost as dangerous as being struck yourself, so avoid tall objects when possible. Trees, light poles, flagpoles and even fences are all more likely to attract lightning, so avoid them if possible to not be a target yourself.
Get away from water. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so if lightning strikes a body of water, everyone nearby is in danger. If you are swimming, get out of the water as soon as the first clap of thunder sounds, as that is a sign that lightning is nearby. If you are on a boat and can’t get to shore before the storm begins, put down your anchor and crouch down in the boat, or go into the cabin if your boat has one on board. Avoid touching any metallic surfaces in the boat, as well.
If your home or business is damaged by a storm, you can count on us to help. We are here 24⁄7 so you can report your damage and get a rapid response. Contact us today to learn more.