One lightning strike can carry enough electricity to power 10 million homes for one month. If you’re caught outside when there is lightning, keep in mind the following tips to help protect yourself:

  • Stay away from all conductors of electricity — chain link fences, playground equipment and all water, including lakes, rivers, ponds and pools.
  • Seek shelter. The safest place is a sturdy building, away from windows, doors and electrical appliances.
  • If you can’t find shelter, try a cave or depression in the ground or a low area in dense woods.
  • Remember that lightning seeks the quickest path to the ground. Don’t be the tallest object around, and don’t stand near or under the tallest object, such as a tree. Lightning may travel from the tallest object, such as a tree, to any nearby object that is a better conductor of electricity. Humans are good conductors because our bodies are 70 percent water.
  • If you’re caught on open ground, make yourself as small a target as possible. Drop to your knees and crouch low to the ground. Don’t lie flat on your back or stomach.
  • If you feel hair stand on end, lightning may be about to strike you. You may be able to prevent this from happening by immediately dropping to your knees and crouching low.
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