Lightning Safety Tips

   Photo by Doug Weiler


Lightning is the most frequent and important weather threat to personal safety during the thunderstorm season. Keep these lightning safety tips in mind.
Plan ahead and avoid deadly lightning situations. Check the latest forecast before going outdoors for extended periods of time. Watch for storms and seek shelter indoors when thunderstorms approach. If you can see lightning striking the ground OR you can hear rumbles of thunder – seek safe shelter.

If you are outdoors and a thunderstorm approaches, don’t stand under trees! Get to the nearest indoor shelter which has surrounding walls, and closed windows and doors. An open building such as a picnic shelter, or garage or shed with the door open will keep you dry, but it will NOT protect you from lightning.

A closed, hard-top metal vehicle is also a safe place to be if you are caught outdoors during a thunderstorm. Vehicles can be struck by lightning (the rubber tires do NOT protect the vehicle), but as long as you are not touching any metal and the windows are closed you will be protected.
If you are boating, swimming or taking part in any other outdoor water activities, get out of the water when storms are approaching and seek safe shelter indoors or in a hard-top vehicle.

Indoors – avoid using electrical appliances, corded telephones and any fixture that is connected to metal pipes during a thunderstorm. Cordless phones and cell phones are safe to use indoors during a thunderstorm, as long as they are not in a charging base or plugged into an outlet.


Safest Locations from Lightning

  • Inside a secure building with windows & doors CLOSED

  • A hard topped automobile with the windows CLOSED



Un-Safe Locations with Lightning Nearby

  • Anywhere outdoors - especially near trees or water

  • Inside a building with large open doors - or no walls

  • In an automobile with the windows open



Simply put – if you see lightning strike or you hear thunder rumbling, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. It is recommended that you stay indoors until 30 minutes AFTER the last rumble of thunder is heard before you can safely return outdoors. 

Look for more information during National Lightning Safety Awareness Week – June 22nd through June 28th, 2014 or visit our lightning safety web site at:   

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