While walking in nature can be a wonderful experience, it's important to be prepared and stay safe, especially during thunderstorms. The UK's weather can be unpredictable, and thunderstorms can pose risks to outdoor enthusiasts. In this blog post, we'll provide you with essential tips to ensure your safety while walking in thunderstorms in the UK. By following these guidelines, you can minimize the dangers associated with lightning, heavy rain, and strong winds, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor adventures responsibly.
Check the Weather ForecastBefore heading out for a walk, always check the weather forecast, including any thunderstorm warnings. Stay updated on the current conditions and plan your activity accordingly. If thunderstorms are expected, consider postponing your walk to a safer time.
Plan Your RouteChoose a route that provides options for shelter or escape in case a thunderstorm approaches. Identify areas with buildings, caves, or dense tree cover that can offer protection from lightning and heavy rain. Avoid exposed areas, open fields, and hilltops during thunderstorms.
Carry Emergency EssentialsPack a lightweight, waterproof backpack with essential emergency items such as a fully charged mobile phone, a whistle, a basic first aid kit, a waterproof jacket, spare clothing, and a lightweight emergency shelter or tarp. These items can provide protection and assistance during unforeseen circumstances.
Monitor the SkyWhile walking, keep a close eye on the sky for any signs of dark clouds, lightning, or increasing winds. Thunderstorms can develop quickly, so be prepared to change your plans and seek shelter if necessary.
Seek ShelterIf you hear thunder or see lightning flashes, it's time to find a safe shelter. Look for sturdy buildings, car parks, or fully enclosed structures as your primary options. If no buildings are available, seek shelter in a low-lying area away from tall trees, isolated objects, and bodies of water.
Stay Away from Metal ObjectsAvoid contact with metal objects during thunderstorms. Stay away from metal fences, equipment, poles, and other conductive materials that can attract lightning.
Crouch Position If ExposedIf you suddenly find yourself in an exposed location in a thunderstorm, then it may be a good idea to crouch close to the ground, with your hands, knees, and head tucked in close together - basically you are trying to limit the amount of contact your body has with the ground whilst being as low to it as possible. DO NOT LIE DOWN ON THE GROUND.
Immediate DangerIf your hair suddenly stands on end, drop to the ground and assume the crouch position (above).
Wait for the Storm to PassOnce you have found shelter, stay indoors or in a safe location until the thunderstorm has completely passed. Lightning can strike even before or after the rain, so it's essential to wait for a significant distance of time without any lightning activity before continuing your walk.