Thunderstorm and Lightning Safety


Warm, humid conditions during the spring and summer are the perfect condition for thunderstorms. Thunderstorms have the potential to be life-threatening. Lightning continues to be one of the top storm-related injuries in the United States. Know what to do during thunderstorms. It can greatly increase your safety and the safety of those around you.

Thunderstorms produce heavy rain for a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. These storms have the ability to produce dangerous winds, hail, and lightning. They can cause flash flooding in rivers and streams, dry gulches, and in low-lying areas. If you hear the sound of thunder, then you are in danger from lightning.

Stay Safe Outdoors
Be aware of the weather forecast. Sign up for weather alerts on your mobile device.

Pay attention to changing weather conditions, darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing winds.  If you are outdoors and hear the sound of thunder, don’t wait for the rain to begin, go indoors immediately. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from where it is raining. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring. Small, open shelters in parks and athletic fields do not protect people from lightning.

If you cannot seek shelter indoors:

  • avoid going near water,
  • stay away from tall trees, and
  • do not seek shelter near metal objects such as fences or bleachers.

If a person is struck by lightning, call 911 immediately

Stay Safe Indoors
Seeking shelter indoors during a thunderstorm is the best protection from lightning. While inside stay away from windows and refrain from running water.

Lightning can follow conductors such as:

  • Electrical wiring,
  • Plumbing and
  • Telephone lines.

Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.

Protect your pets by bringing them inside the home or garage during thunderstorms.