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7 lightning safety tips if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm

When lightning strikes, finding the right shelter may not always be easy. Here are the best tips on what to do if stuck outdoors during a thunderstorm.

There are a number of myths about the best places to find shelter when lightning strikes. It’s important to know the facts to keep you and your family safe.

1) Get inside as quickly as possible

The best place to be is indoors. If you can get inside quickly, do so.

2) Stay low

It’s best to get as low to the ground as possible; you do not want to be the tallest thing around in a thunderstorm.

3) Cars are better than nothing

While being in an enclosed car is not as safe as being inside a building, it is a safer option than staying outside.

Common myths regarding cars and lightning is that the rubber from the tires or the gasket around the windshield keep you safe, but that’s not necessarily true.

4) Avoid bodies of water

While some may think that water will attract lightning, that’s not true, either. However, water is an excellent conductor of electricity, meaning that it can travel far.

If out at the beach, pool or lake, and you hear thunder begin to roll in, seek shelter immediately. Being outside, especially near water, is not a good option.

5) Tents and pavilions are not good options

When out at a park or camp ground, people tend to gather under a tent or pavilion to wait out the storm. However, standing under any kind of open shelter like that is still a risky choice.

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Heading indoors or to the car are still the best places to be in a thunderstorm.

6) Always check the forecast before heading outside

If you know you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time, far from any nearby buildings or your car, check your local forecast before you leave the house for the day.

7) Don’t dawdle

Another common misconception is that thunderstorms have to be nearby for lightning to be a danger. In reality, as soon as you hear thunder, you should move to shelter immediately.

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