Thunderstorms and Lightning Strikes

Thunder is frightening... but lightning is dangerous and can occur anywhere. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Take the following precautions whenever you are caught in an electrical storm.

  • Seek shelter immediately. Buildings are your best choice and hardtop vehicles are okay. Convertibles, golf carts, and tractors are not safe and should never be used for shelter during a electrical storm.
  • If you are outdoors, avoid standing next to tall trees and poles. Take cover in a lowlying area with small trees or in a valley or ravine. If there is no cover, be as small a target as possible. Crouch with your hands on your knees and your head between them. Do not lay flat on the ground.
  • Stay clear of water and metal. If you are boating, return to land as soon as possible. If you are golfing, stop your game and return to the club house
  • immediately. If swimming, get out of the water immediately. If at home, avoid the bath and the shower.
  • Do not use the telephone (unless there is an emergency). Telephone wires conduct electricity.
  • Turn off and unplug high priced electrical/electronic appliances, especially air conditioners, stereo equipment, televisions and computers.
  • Draw the blinds and move away from windows. High winds can blow debris through the windows. Blinds and shades will provide you with some protection from
  • shattered glass.
  • If someone is struck by lightning, administer first aid immediately. People struck by lightning do not hold an electrical charge, and may be handled safely. Victims of lightning strikes may show burned skin at the point where the charge entered and exited the body.
  • Last but not least, become familiar with the terminology used by weather forecasters.


Thunderstorm Terminology

  • Thunderstorm Watch: This advisory indicates that conditions are right for the formation of thunderstorms.
  • Thunderstorm Warning: This advisory indicates that a thunderstorm is in or will affect a specific area and that personnel should be aware of their surroundings.