Thunderstorms can be beautiful, with the echoing rumble of thunder, the illuminating flashes of lightning, and the quenching effects of water on a parched landscape. However, thunderstorms carry with them an element of danger. According to Ready.gov, a website maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, these storms can be dangerous due to the threat of electrocution, hail damage, flash flooding, and tornadoes. The first piece of advice when a thunderstorm approaches is “When thunder roars, go indoors!” In addition to heading indoors, note these 12 activities to avoid during a thunderstorm.
12. Standing Under a Tree
If you are outside when a thunderstorm rolls in, avoid taking shelter under a tree. Since thunder is accompanied by lightning, this can be a dangerous place to hang out. If lightning strikes a tree while you are standing beneath it, the electrical current can run down the tree. As electricity travels through the tree, the current can be transmitted to your body. The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests this is because your body is a better conductor of electrical current than a tree is.
11. Standing Outside in Open Spaces
In your quest to avoid standing beneath a tree, you may be tempted to remain in an open, grassy area. Unfortunately, this can be even more dangerous than standing beneath a tree. When you stand in a flat area, you become the tallest object in that location. If lightning were to strike, you would now be the tallest, most convenient object for that lightning to hit. Always get yourself into a car or building when you hear thunder or see lightning.