Thunderstorm/Lightning Safety Tips
The following safety tips can protect you during a thunderstorm:
If you are outdoors:
- Attempt to get into a building or a hardtop car and keep the windows closed.
- If not structure is available, as quickly as possible to an open space and squat low to the ground. If in the woods, find an area protected by a low clump of trees; never stand beneath a single large tree in the open. Be aware of the potential for flooding in low-lying areas.
- Kneel or crouch with hands on knees.
- Avoid tall structures, such as towers, tall trees, telephone lines, or power poles.
- Stay away from natural lightning rods, such as golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles, or camping equipment.
- Stay away from rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water.
- If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.
- If you are isolated in a level field and feel your hair stand on end, which indicated that lightning is about to strike, drop to your knees and bend forward, putting your hands on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
If you are in a vehicle:
- Pull safely onto the shoulder of the road, away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle.
- If flash flooding is possible, go to higher ground.
- Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rains subside. If flash flooding is possible, abandon the vehicle and climb to higher ground.
- Avoid flooded roadways.
If you are indoors:
- Secure outdoor objects, such as lawn furniture, that could blow away or cause damage or injury.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information.
- Do not handle any electrical equipment or telephones, because lightning could follow the wire. Television sets are particularly dangerous at this time. Use telephones ONLY in an emergency.
- Do not take a bath or shower. Metal pipes can transmit electricity.
- Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressors.