How to stay safe in the lightning storm battering the North Island

Thunderstorms have battered the country for the past few days, and forecasters say there's at least another day of rain in store for many.

On Tuesday morning there were 872 lightning strikes recorded countrywide between 6:30am and 8:30am.

And at least four people were injured due to a lightning strike in Hamilton on Monday.

If you're worried the same might happen to you, here are some tips to avoid getting zapped.

Outdoor activities

It's a common misconception that golfing presents a higher risk for people to be struck by lightning than other activities. explained that between 2006 and 2014, it was almost three times as risky going fishing.

However that's not an invitation to head to the nearest green as almost two thirds of lightning strike victims were engaged in some sort of outdoor leisure when struck, according to the website.

Metservice keeps updates on its website to warn when it gets too risky to venture out, so if lightning gets bad ditch the rod, stay inside and maybe pick up a book.

Driving safely

Civil Defence says to avoid walking outside and driving unless completely necessary, due to road conditions being worse than regular.

However, if you find yourself with no choice, try to stay inside your car.

In strong electric fields, the lightning travels around the surface of the vehicle before going to ground, so your car will basically act as a shield from the lightning, according to

Dealing with pets

Make sure your pets are inside and accounted for and stock is in shelter.

Similar to fireworks, many animals have a flight response when it comes to lightning.

National Geographic published an article about how to identify anxiety in pets and keep them safe during storms.

Keep your cat-doors and windows closed.

What to do about damage

If your property or any property near you has suffered damage in the storm today, contact your local council, but be aware that they may be dealing with an influx of damage reports.


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