Lightning is About to Strike
the sky for approaching dark clouds, increasing winds, and
flashes of light.
-Listen for thunder.
-If thunder can be heard, you are close enough to the
storm to be struck by lightning, and you should take shelter
-Keep up to date on weather forecasts through local
TV stations and NOAA Weather Radio.
Steps to Take as a Storm Approaches
shelter in a building or vehicle (avoid convertibles). Keep
-Avoid using electrical equipment/appliances, and preferably,
unplug things such as televisions, air conditioners, and computers.
Electrical lines are excellent conductors of electricity.
(Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase
the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)
-Do not take baths or showers during storms, as water
is an excellent conductor of electricity. Use as little water
as possible during storms.
-Draw blinds and shades over windows as a precaution
to prevent windows shattering into your home, should they
be broken by blowing debris.
If You are Caught Outdoors:
to seek shelter in a vehicle or building.
-If no structure is available, stay as low to the ground
as possible. In the woods, find a group of smaller trees.
Avoid standing under single tall trees. Be aware of the potential
for flooding in low-lying areas.
-Get as small as you can by crouching on your knees
on the ground.
-Remember to avoid tall structures, such as towers,
tall trees, fences, telephone lines, or power lines. Also
avoid golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles, and camping equipment.
All are excellent electrical conductors.
-Stay away from all types of bodies of water. If you
are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.
-If you feel your hair stand on end, which indicates
that lightning is about to strike, drop your your
knees and bend forward, putting your hands on your knees.
Do not lie flat on the ground.
Stuck in a Vehicle:
-Find a safe place on the side of the road and pull over.
Make sure there are not any trees that could blow over onto
-Put on emergency flashers, especially during
-Remain in the car, only leaving in the case of
a flash flood.
-Watch for possible flash flooding. Should you
notice the beginnings of flooding, abandon your vehicle, and
seek higher ground immediately.
-Avoid flooded roadways.
Safety Steps to Take 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 use any electrical equipment or telephones,
especially television sets. Lightning could follow the wire
into the house, and do extensive damage to electrical equipment,
such as air conditioners and TV's. Use telephones ONLY in
-Do not take a bath or shower. Metal pipes can
If Someone is Struck by Lightning:
-People who have been struck by lightning can be cared for
safety, and do not carry any type of electrical charge.
-Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1 or
your local Emergency Medical Services number.
-Look for burn marks on the victim's body where
the charge both entered and exited. Lightning strikes can
also cause neurological damage, broken bones, and loss of
sight or hearing.
-Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin
rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a
trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse
and is breathing, look for and care for other possible injuries.
Weather Service, NOAA