Thunder and Lightning need to be taken seriously. The general rule is to seek shelter if caught out in a storm and stay there until 30 minutes after the lightning has passed.
30/30 ruleResearch shows that people struck by lightning are predominantly hit before and after the peak of the storm. This means that you should be thinking about the proximity of the lightning, not the occurrence of rain. The 30/30 rule provides a good way of ensuring one is sheltering during the most risky parts of the storm. It proposes that if the flash to bang is 30 seconds in length or less you should seek shelter. Staying inside this shelter is advised until 30 minutes past the last clap of thunder. This ensures that any distant strikes at the beginning of the storm (lightning can travel up to 10 miles), or trailing storm clouds at the back of the storm do not take anyone by surprise. (ROSPA)
Move away from trees and open areas, shelter can be found in buildings or vehicles. There are lots of weather apps you can add to your phone if you have signal, I use My Lightning Tracker. Check the weather forecast before you set and and have a plan b - can you get to shelter? Can you alter your route, setting or re-schedule the activity?
Check out ROSPA rule of 30: https://www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/advice/lightning
Vicki Stewart is the Director of Brightwood Training Limited. She is an ex-RAF Training Officer with a Masters Degree in Development Training in the Outdoors. Experienced team building trainer, Forest School Level 4 Trainer and Approved Forest School Therapeutic Practitioner she writes and teaches nature connection and people development , reviews for academic journals and leads training in outdoor learning and programmes for Universities, companies, mainstream and alternative education.