THERE'S been reports of windows and doors shaking during today's thunderstorm.

But if you were caught out in it rather than cowering under your duvet, what should you do to keep safe?

We probably all remember our grandparents turning off the TV after hearing a rumble of thunder but they were definitely right when when they told us not to use the phone.

The Met Office has issued a number of dos and don'ts for when lightning strikes and among them is avoiding using the landline unless it's an emergency.

A spokesman added: "There are many myths surrounding lightning - such as lightning never strikes the same place twice or it always strikes the tallest object.

"Both are false, as lightning strikes the best conductor on the ground - whether it has been struck before or not."

Before the thunderstorm

  • Lightning can cause power surges, unplug any non-essential appliances if not already using a surge protector.
  • Seek shelter if possible. When you hear thunder you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur, lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of a storm.

During the thunderstorm

  • Telephone lines can conduct electricity so try to avoid using the landline, unless in an emergency
  • If outside avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects
  • Avoid activities such as golf, rod fishing or boating on a lake
  • Be aware of metal objects that can conduct or attract lightning, including golf clubs, golf buggies, fishing rods, umbrellas, motorbikes, bicycles, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs, wire fencing and rails. If you are in a tent, try to stay away from the metal poles

What should I do if I'm outside when a thunderstorm starts?

A Met Office spokesman added: "If you find yourself in an exposed location it may be advisable to squat close to the ground, with hands on knees and with head tucked between them.

"Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible, do not lie down on the ground.

"If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the above position immediately."

Driving in a thunderstorm

If you are caught out in thunder and lightning it is advised that you wind up the windows and stay inside your car.

Soft-top convertibles, with their fabric roofs, are the most at risk and could catch fire if struck by lightning

Be aware that current can travel through other parts of many modern cars, including GPS and radio systems.

Cars with metal interior handles, foot pedals and steering wheels can also carry current.

Cars can be damaged both internally and externally by lightning strikes