Article Mythbuster

No, Don’t Stand Underneath A Tree During A Lightning Storm

GRZEXP Staff – Becca Parkes

At one point, everyone has heard something that wasn’t true. Whether it was a lie, a myth, or a common misconception. One common misconception concerns a life or death situation; seeking shelter from a lightning storm under a tree. This is untrue and can prove to be fatal if taken into action. There are so many life endangering myths that aren’t factual and it’s time to finally debunk them.

What should someone do if they were caught in a lightning storm? First, the best thing to do would be entering, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “…an enclosed building with wiring and plumbing…” If lightning were to strike the building, it may start a fire, but the person inside would not be struck. This would also shield them from the rain. 

If there is no building, don’t head to a tree. Unknown to many, a tree is known as one of the worst places to be during a lightning strike. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Being underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties.” If a tree is struck by lightning, it won’t protect anyone under it from an electric shock. “If lightning does hit the tree, there’s the chance that a “ground charge” will spread out from the tree in all directions.” (Insurance Information Institute). 

You may have also heard that standing is the best thing to do while in a storm because you can get away from immediate danger. Studies show that crouching can actually reduce your chances of being struck, although it doesn’t completely ensure you won’t be.  Some of these facts may be striking to some, but make sure to remember these tips to stay alive and safe. What are you supposed to do during a lightning storm? To sum up, immediately seek shelter. if there is no shelter in sight then crouch down and avoid trees.

Featured Image Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lightning_over_Padre_Island.jpg

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