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Are Treehouses Safe in Thunderstorms?

When treehouses are built by serious treehouse construction companies, there is room to tolerate movement of trees in the wind. But storms can pose several risks that should make you think twice about spending time in a treehouse during a major weather event.

Storm risk to Trees

Most trees and branches fail during storms, due to high wind, drenching rain, and/or lightning. When lightning hits trees, they can explode, which could damage your hearing, cause you to be struck by flying debris, or expose you to the current of the lightning strike. None of these are good and a situation gets dangerous so quickly that you may not have time to escape the danger.

Storm risk to the Treehouse

High gusts of wind can damage a structure by blowing walls or roofs apart, especially since wind can sometimes get underneath the structure in ways that ground houses are not subjected to. Branches or nearby trees could break off and land on the treehouse while you are in it. Or, they could land on the stairs and cut off your escape route!

Sleeping in Treehouses during Thunderstorms

Many treehouse resorts, camps, and bed & breakfasts have treehouses now where you can take a treehouse vacation. When the storms rise, however, it is wise to vacate the trees for safer emergency lodging. Commercial operations should have backup plans to house people on the ground, at least temporarily, while a storm passes. While that might be a let down to have to get out of the tree, it's really the only responsible decision to make. There has to be an action plan for all treehouses to be evacuated when wind exceeds a certain MPH or when lightning is in the area and the trees are not protected.

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