You might be home right now, looking out of your window. Suddenly, you see that the sky is mad at the earth, and lightning hits. The first thing you might do is look for shelter. Should you unplug your laptop during a thunderstorm?
Great plan, but don’t forget your electronic appliances. Lightning doesn’t have favorite targets but can be dangerous if you don’t take the essential precautions.
A thunderstorm can cause a lot of damage to your surroundings, to nature, and to stuff in your home. Like anything, preparation is the key to success.
You should turn off the power line and unplug all appliances and electrical equipment, such as your phone, laptop, and tv. All the data on your devices could be lost if you don’t do this. Make sure to double-check if all your devices are not being used and turn them off if they are on. Save yourself a lot of problems and stress by not risking the loss of all your documents.
In this article, we will look at all the different scenarios and what you should do.
What happens to my laptop if I don’t unplug it during a thunderstorm?
We highly advise you to unplug your laptop and electronic devices during a thunderstorm as this will save you a lot of trouble. Many windows, both old and new, are constructed of metal or have metal parts that can attract lightning.
You could lose all of your data and files that were saved on your laptop.
Of course, this would be very unfortunate but you should always make sure everyone around you is safe and sound. However, make sure you prepare your devices before a thunderstorm so you don’t have to touch them during the storm. During a storm, you need to avoid contact with any device that is connected to a wall outlet, but it is OK to use wireless devices that are electrical outlets not connected to wall outlets, including cellular and cordless phones, as long as you are inside.
It’s not safe to touch any electronic device that is connected. Are your devices already connected? DO NOT touch them, instead, wait for the thunderstorm to be over.
When lightning hits your house, none of your devices are safe. Don’t risk your health for your laptop or smartphone.
In this article, we’ll go over everything that you can do to keep yourself, the people, nearby you, and your devices safe.
What should I do during a thunderstorm to protect my home?
Always protect yourself by going inside. Next, turn off all devices. After you’ve done that, check that your drapes and blinds are closed. Close your curtains so that if your windows get shattered, you won’t have any glass flying around your house and potentially hurting someone.
- Don’t wash your hands and avoid all contact with metal pipes as they can conduct lightning. Lightning can run through these metal pipes, into your body, and directly fry you.
- Do not stand under a tree or any other tall object. Taller objects reach higher in, the sky and therefore have a higher chance of getting hit by lightning.
- Protect your loved ones with surge protectors and stay with them and comfort your children or anyone that might be scared of the thunder.
- You can see how close the thunderstorm is by counting to 30 between each thunderstruck. If you hear the thunder before you can count to 30, stay at least 30 minutes inside and follow the necessary precautions.
- If you’re inside, stay away from walls because lightning can travel through the metal wires surge protector or bars that run through your walls and power lines.
- Have patience and wait until the storm is over to minimize damages.
Now, we’ll talk about how to plan for a thunderstorm. What is better than doing all of the above? Make sure you do all of the above and also minimize the risk of other bad things happening to your home and belongings.
Should you unplug your laptop during a thunderstorm?
Make sure to follow all of the above advice first. Your laptop is useless if you and your family are not safe. After everyone is safe, make a backup of the most important documents that you store on your laptop or computer.
Now follow these steps:
- Disconnect your laptop or computer from all cables and connections.
- Turn off wifi, power surge, and internet connection.
- If you don’t need to do anything with your laptop, store it somewhere safe after the storm.
- Now apply the 30-30 rule. This means you count to 30 and see if the thunder strikes in these 30 seconds or not.
- Did the lightning strike in these 30 seconds? Then you stay indoors for at least 30 minutes! That means the storm is near you.
- After you can count 30 seconds without the thunder interrupting your counting, you can safely say that the thunderstorm is some distance away. Slowly, return to your normal routine but take notice of any changes in the storm.
- If you don’t have external storage you can think of buying cloud software to store your data in the Cloud. Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple’s Cloud, or anything like that will do the trick.
During a thunderstorm, always make sure to disconnect yourself as much as possible. You don’t want to risk your safety for the safety of your devices.
However, just as we’ve talked about here, prepare yourself so you risk neither.
You can keep a flashlight in your home so you can still move around your house if the electricity gets burnt.
Is it safe to use my laptop or phone during a thunderstorm?
As long it’s not plugged in, you should be safe and not face a severe power surge. Make sure to only use it when necessary. Check the local news and see what precautions you might have to take to save your family and house. Always listen to local authorities.
It is advised to stay away from windows, phones, laptops, and anything that lighting can run through. You can use your devices if they’re not plugged in because there is no evidence that lightning can hit devices that are not connected.
Never charge your phone or laptop during a lightning storm as you can lose all your data and also fry your device through power surges.
All the electricity your house receives comes from a tower that would make sure that all the lightning runs through your devices. We would like to diminish the chance of the latter happening.
Remember, electricity travels through ionized air, so it doesn’t have to be a direct hit in order for your power to surge. But I Have Surge Protectors No surge protector is equipped to handle a direct hit or even a hit close by to avoid static electricity damage.
Safety tips during a thunderstorm
Here’s a list of all the safety tips that are provided by the Department of Homeland Security when lightning strikes. Make sure to follow all advice thoroughly, because a thunderstorm is no fun and could cause serious injury or damage.
Without any further do, let’s get into the list and we’ll go from the most important to less important things at the bottom of the list.
- If you can hear the thunder, lightning is closer than you think and could strike you at any time.
- Always look for shelter either in your car or in a building because YOU ARE NOT SAFE OUTSIDE.
- Stay away from anything that is connected to a cord and electricity.
- Also, don’t come into close contact with anything that may conduct electricity such as wires, metal, and pipes.
- Avoid showers, doing dishes, or any activity that means you come into close contact with water.
- Get away from elevated surfaces and stay as low to the ground as you can.
- Stay away from doors, windows, and porches.
- Always close your curtains and blinds in case your windows shatter and glass starts flying around the house.
- Follow the news about the thunderstorm so you know how to properly prepare and what to do.
- Make sure your children are with you and comfort them during the thunderstorm. You can distract them with toys or read them a story.
- Before the thunderstorm, contact all the elderly people and make sure they follow all advice as they might not be aware of what precautions to take.
Now that you have all the tips and tricks. Put them into practice and make sure you adhere to what local authorities advise you to do.
We’ve covered everything you should do with regard to your devices, family, and close relatives. Inform, stay indoors and unplug.
What to do during a thunderstorm when outside?
Make sure to find the nearest place you can shelter yourself during the storm. But there are some places to avoid such as trees and any nature. If you can, hide in your car or under a roof of a building.
Do not be out in the open, as you are more likely to be hit by lightning and you have no direct protection. Always stay low to the ground and avoid higher surfaces.
If you have no place to take shelter, move to a place where you can hide and keep counting to see how far away the thunderstorm is.
After that, you can’t do anything more to keep yourself safe.
In short: quickly find a place to hide, and don’t touch anything that could conduct electricity like water.
The conclusion should you unplug your laptop during a thunderstorm
A thunderstorm can be scary so make sure to prepare well. Make sure to provide your relatives and any elderly that you know with the correct information.
Make sure to avoid anything that could conduct lightning and you should unplug your laptop during a thunderstorm. Don’t use any devices that are connected to your home.
A great tip that gets forgotten is that you shouldn’t use any running water. The metal pipes can conduct lightning and are not safe during a thunderstorm.
First people, then pets, and last devices. Protect the lives of your loved ones first by informing them what to do and especially what not to do. Comfort the elderly, children, and pets.