Grandma used to tell me, “Never get under a big tree during a storm.”

I thought taking shelter under the elm tree in my front yard would be a great idea, as you might not get rained on as much.

But she told me trees can be struck by lightning — and so could I!

Watching and listening to a good thunderstorm delights me. Seeing Mother Nature cut loose is a beautiful and fascinating site. I don’t think of her as angry; I think of her as taking all she can take and needed to purse herself of negative energy.

So far this year, only one person (in Texas) has been fatally struck by lightning. We talk about it as though it’s a wildly unusual event, and it is.

While the chances might be slim, it’s possible, and it’s the time of year to remind about lightning safety.

Weather.gov says:

n No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.

n If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

n When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.

n Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoors, the site recommends:

n Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.

n Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

n Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches.

n Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

n Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks.

n Never lie flat on the ground.

n Never shelter under an isolated tree.

n Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.

n Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.

n Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

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lward@dailyindependent.com