People are being warned to take precautions ahead of thunderstorms set to roll across parts of the UK this week.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for severe thunderstorms which could bring flooding.
Lightning could be a problem for anyone who hears thunder – as strikes are possible up to 10 miles from the heart of a thunderstorm.
If you can count less than 30 seconds between seeing a flash and hearing thunder then you could be in danger.
Here’s a full list of what steps to take to protect yourself, according to LiverpoolEcho , and the things you definitely shouldn’t do in a storm.
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What to do
- Before the storm hits, make sure you unplug all non-essential appliances, including the television, as lightning can cause power surges.
- If outside, avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects. Try to find shelter, but avoid sheltering near any of these objects.
- If you find yourself in an exposed location, it’s best to squat close to the ground, with your hands on your knees and your head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible, do not lie down on the ground.
- If you feel your hair stand on end, it means lightning is about to strike and you should drop into the brace position immediately.
- Bring your pets inside – being in the house is the best option for every member of your family, pets included.
What not to do
- Avoid using taps and sinks – metal pipes can conduct electricity.
- Don’t make landline phone calls unless it’s an emergency – telephone lines can conduct electricity.
- Don’t take a shower. For the same reason you should avoid taps and sinks, a bolt can travel through water pipes and electrify you.
- Don’t put up an umbrella if you’re caught in a storm – the metal could direct the current into your body.
- Don’t go outside too soon after a thunderstorm – it’s best to wait until at least 30 minutes after you see the last flash of lightning.
- Avoid activities such as golf or fishing, if you were tempted to go out and do them in a thunderstorm.