Thunderstorms could strike just about anywhere in the UK this weekend … but what do you do to protect yourself.

Here we’ve pulled information together from weather and insurance websites to give you a definitive version of what to do when the skies rumble and lightning strikes.

Figures for the number of people killed by lightning strikes worldwide vary wildly from 6,000 up to 24,000 but on average 50 people are killed by lightning in the USA each year – second behind deaths from flooding - with many more injured.

Your estimated odds of being struck in an 80-year lifespan are 1 in 13,000 and, yes, those are higher odds than winning a fortune in the lottery.

Hail can happen during any strong storm, hurling chunks of ice to the earth at speeds up to 120 mph – and they range in size from a pea to a grapefruit.

According to the Daily Express Bonnie Diamond, a forecaster at the Met Office, warned some places in the UK may see up to a month’s worth of rain fall in a short space of time this weekend.

She explained: “The average monthly rainfall totals for the UK as a whole is 70mm, England 58.4mm and Wales 85.9mm.

“With torrential rain bringing 30 to 40 mm of rain in an hour and some places possibly seeing 60mm to 80mm of rain in two to three hours, it is possible that a few places may see their average monthly rainfall totals falling within a short time.

“The severe weather is likely to bring flooding in places, with the risk of damage to homes and property from lightning strikes, hail and strong wind.”

So there’s the danger and here’s how to protect yourself and your family.

Know the “30/30” rule: When you see a lightning flash, start counting. If you don't make it to 30 before hearing the thunder, head indoors. Then stay indoors until 30 minutes after hearing the last boom of thunder.

Here’s what not to do … and what you should do.

  • Avoid using corded phones and electronics such as computers or power tools. Electrical wires can conduct lightning.
  • Don't use your mobile phone during a thunderstorm.
  • Never seek shelter under a tree or near power lines as they are both conductors of electricity and could cause serious injury or death.
  • If you are not near any buildings, a car with a metal roof and side is the next best thing.
  • If you are outside and cannot find shelter, get into a ‘lightning crouch’ by squatting down with your feet together, your head tucked to your chest or between your knees and your hands covering your ears or flat against your knees.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground, as this will give the lightning a larger target.
  • Avoid bathtubs, swimming pools and if you are fishing or swimming, get out of the water straight away as it is extremely dangerous during a lightning storm.
  • Don't wash your hands, shower, wash dishes or do laundry. Metal pipes in the plumbing can also conduct lightning.
  • To protect your home put your entire house on a surge-protection system.
  • Unplug appliances and electronic equipment when not in use.

Many homes and businesses now have FloodSax Sandless sandbags so they are prepared for flooding.

FloodSax are transformed from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in just three minutes and are ideal at soaking up spills as well as stopping running water.

Around 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.