Thunderstorm and Lightning Safety

Thunderstorms & Lightning

Know the Facts!

  • Keep a battery-operated radio nearby for local storm reports.
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely.
  • Stay indoors until the storm passes.
  • If you are outside and get caught in a thunderstorm go into a nearby building or enclosed car with the windows rolled up.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • If you feel your hair stand on end and feel tingly – which means lightning is about to strike – crouch down and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. Make yourself as small as possible.
  • During a thunderstorm, do not stand near windows.
  • Rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning.
  • If you are inside a home, avoid using a corded telephone, except for emergencies. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  • If you are inside a home, avoid showering or bathing.  Plumbing and bathroom fixtures conduct electricity.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • If outdoors, try to get to a safe shelter quickly. Move away from tall things such as trees, towers, fences, and telephone and power lines.
  • Stay away from anything that is metal, including umbrellas, motorcycles, bicycles, and wire fences.
  • If surrounded by trees, take shelter under shorter trees.
  • Get to a low-lying area such as a ditch or valley, but watch for flash floods.
  • Be small. Make yourself a small target by crouching down and put your hands on your knees.
  • Don’t lie flat on the ground since that makes you a bigger target.
  • If in a boat, get to land and shelter quickly. Water is extremely dangerous when there is lightning.
  • If in a vehicle, keep windows closed.
  • Avoid flooded areas, moving water, downed power lines, and storm-damaged areas.

If Someone Is Struck By Lightning

  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Victim does not carry an electrical charge and can be touched.
  • Victim will have two wounds – an entrance and an exit burn. Give first aid if needed.