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Lightning Safety

There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm. Seek shelter immediately.

  • If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Be aware and don't ignore the signs. Lightning can strike 10 miles from an approaching thunderstorm.
  • When you hear thunder, move immediately to a substantial building with electricity or plumbing, or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the doors closed and windows up. Do not touch any metal in the vehicle. Small buildings without electricity or plumbing, e.g. sheds, dugouts, picnic shelters etc., are NOT safe shelters.
  • It is recommended to stay inside at least 20-30 minutes after the last clap of thunder is heard.
  • Stay off corded phones, computers, appliances or other electrical equipment that is plugged into a wall outlet. Cell phones or cordless phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, showers and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows, doors and covered porches and patios.
  • Do not sit or lie on concrete floors or lean up against concrete walls.

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas.
  • Leave an open field.
  • Never lie flat on the ground.
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree, cliff, or rock overhang.
  • If you are near or in water, get out and away immediately. Dry off if wet.
  • Stay away from any metal object that can conduct electricity, i.e. fence, pole, power lines, etc.
  • If you are with a group of people, do not huddle up. Spread apart.
  • If your hair is standing on end, take off running for the nearest shelter!