Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Worst Places to Be in a Thunderstorm

In Your Yard

Being at your home is not the same as being in your home, as far as lightning safety goes. People are struck by lightning and killed each year in their own yards. Most are doing yard work, although some were simply taking out the trash or walking to the car to retrieve something they forgot.

Even in your home, you're not entirely safe. The Red Cross recommends staying out of the bath and shower and not using your land-line phone or any electrical appliances [source: Red Cross]. Electricity can travel through your phone, plumbing or any wires and shock you.

Even if you aren't killed by lightning, NASA's list of possible injuries is sobering, and includes:

  • Burns
  • Internal hemorrhaging
  • Heart attack
  • Memory loss
  • Respiratory distress
  • Eye damage
  • Deafness

To imagine the power of a lightning bolt, note that many people get knocked clean out of their shoes -- and sometimes their clothes.

Little is known about keuranopathy, the pathology of lightning in the body; the above list is simply a few of the symptoms medical personnel have noticed in lightning victims. Information we have about industrial electrical shocks simply doesn't compare. Stay out of your yard during storms, lest you provide us with more data.

On the next page, find out the No. 1 worst spot to be during a thunderstorm.