The best place to be in a thunderstorm is in a solid, properly-earthed building. Flimsy structures like tents offer no protection.
The second-best option is a stationary vehicle with metal sides and roof (the metal shell formed by the car helps deflect the electrical charge). Close the windows; lean away from the door; don't touch the steering wheel, ignition, gear lever or radio. Stay in the vehicle at least 30 minutes after the last thunder-clap.
If you're caught outside in a thunderstorm far from suitably protective buildings or vehicles, avoid the following:
High, exposed areas
Tall, isolated structures like trees and telephone poles
Metal structures like fences
If the lightning's right overhead, assume the "lightning position / crouch": squat with feet together, head tucked in, ears covered. Don't huddle in a group – spread out.
Got a good green tip to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post on the EnviroHealth Forum – if it's a planet-saver, we'll publish it.
- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor