Safety tips for thunderstorms

Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can:

  • Include powerful winds over 50 MPH;
  • Create hail; and
  • Cause flash flooding and tornadoes.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A THUNDERSTORM WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • When thunder roars, go indoors!
  • Move from outdoors into a building or car.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Do not use landline phones.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS

Prepare NOW
Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms. In most places, they can occur year-round and at any hour.

Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

Identify nearby, sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study, and play.

Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home.

Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.

Survive DURING
When thunder roars, go indoors. A sturdy building is the safest place to be during a thunderstorm.
Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of thunderstorms. Be ready to change plans, if necessary, to be near shelter.
When you receive a thunderstorm warning or hear thunder, go inside immediately.
If indoors, avoid running water or using landline phones. Electricity can travel through plumbing and phone lines.
Protect your property. Unplug appliances and other electric devices. Secure outside furniture.
If boating or swimming, get to land and find a sturdy, grounded shelter or vehicle immediately.
If necessary, take shelter in a car with a metal top and sides. Do not touch anything metal.
Avoid flooded roadways. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

Be Safe AFTER
Listen to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Report them immediately.