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 a shelter, it can be 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 the heat and humidity.
While being in a building during a thunderstorm is the safest option (with being in your vehicle a close second), knowing what to do next is vital if you are away from buildings and cars when a storm strikes.
How to Seek Shelter From a Storm if You Are Outdoors
Get to low ground. Lightning takes 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 absolute, getting low to the ground reduces your chances of being hit. 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 struck by lightning is almost as dangerous as being hit yourself, so avoid tall objects when possible. Trees, light poles, flagpoles, and even fences are 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, which signals that lightning is nearby. If you are on a boat and can not get to shore before the storm begins, drop 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 a storm damages your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews to help. We are here 24/7, so you can report your damage and get a rapid response. Contact us today to learn more.