Places you shouldn’t seek shelter when it’s raining

When the rain starts pouring, our first instinct is often to find shelter.

However, not all shelters are created equal, and some can be downright dangerous during a storm. Here’s a look at some places you should avoid when seeking refuge from the rain.

1. Under trees

It might seem natural to dash under a large tree, but this can be one of the most hazardous places to shelter. Trees attract lightning due to their height and isolated nature.

If a tree is struck by lightning, the electrical surge can travel through the tree and into the ground, potentially causing serious injuries to anyone nearby.

2. Metal sheds or structures

Metal conducts electricity, making metal sheds, bus shelters, and other similar structures risky places to hide during a thunderstorm. They can attract lightning and, if struck, the electrical current will pass through the metal and possibly anyone taking shelter inside.

3. High ground

While it might be tempting to head to a hilltop or elevated area to wait out a rainstorm, high ground is another lightning magnet. Lightning typically strikes the highest point in an area, so being on high ground increases your risk of a dangerous encounter.

4. Near water bodies

Lakes, ponds, and rivers are poor choices for shelter during rainstorms. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so being close to or in water during a thunderstorm increases the risk of electrocution if lightning strikes nearby.

5. Open fields

Standing in an open field with no protection is essentially making yourself the tallest object in an area, which increases your risk of being struck by lightning.

If caught in an open field, the safest thing to do is to crouch down with your feet together and head tucked, minimizing contact with the ground.

6. Roadways and underpasses

While underpasses can protect from rain, they’re not safe during heavy rainstorms that could lead to flooding. Roadways can quickly become hazardous with poor visibility and the potential for hydroplaning or getting stranded due to rising water levels.

Understanding where not to shelter during a rainstorm is crucial for your safety. Instead of using these risky spots, seek shelter in sturdy, enclosed buildings whenever possible.

If a building isn’t available, a car with a hard top can also provide safe refuge. Always prioritize safety and plan ahead when bad weather is forecasted, ensuring you have access to appropriate and safe sheltering options.

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