Crouching down won't avoid lightning. Seek shelter!

ER & First Aid

It's hurricane season in Florida, which means it's thunderstorm and lightening season too. What better time to dispense with an old myth about staying safe in a lightening storm. Here's a hint: Crouching should be your last choice.

If you are in an area with a thunderstorm approaching, get to a safe area as quickly as possible. A safe area is a building (not a small shelter or pavilion) or a vehicle. If you cannot get indoors and are in a storm with lightning, you need to minimize your risk. Lightning seeks the highest point and can travel through objects, so stay away from trees or poles, especially metal ones. If you are on a forested hill, for example, go under the lowest trees, not the tallest or highest ones on the hill.

In an open area like a field or beach, a person may be the tallest thing. Get to a low area or ditch if possible. Crouching down may not prevent a strike, but it makes you a lower target. Do not lie down. That puts more of your body in contact with the ground.

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