“When thunder roars, head indoors!” When the skies turn dark, it’s time to head for shelter. Keep yourself safe during dangerous weather by following our tips:

Check the Weather

You should always be aware of the weather, checking daily to make sure you aren’t traveling or out and about during bad weather. Plan to reschedule any commitments you have if there is lightning, as the best place to be is at home during harsh weather.

Bunker Down

When it comes to shelter, the best place to be during a lightning storm is inside a closed building, like a house, office building, store or restaurant. If you are caught outside and can’t make it to a closed shelter, you can shelter in your car so long as it’s a closed structure (ex. not motorcycles, convertibles or golf carts). Keep the windows rolled up and wait out the storm. If you are outdoors and cannot find a building, get to the lowest point of land available, and crouch down as close to the ground as you can get without laying down. You should avoid these when seeking shelter:

  • High land, like hilltops, mountains, or other elevated structures, like telephone poles, towers, or power lines
  • Avoid open areas, like playgrounds, golf courses, fields, porches or beaches
  • Avoid being around any water, like ponds, lakes, pools, ponds, or oceans.
  • Seeking shelter on concrete, as lighting can travel through the metal wires or bars encased in the concrete. Do not lay flat on concrete during a lightning storm.

Proof Your Home

In addition to avoiding pools, ponds, lakes, oceans, and other obvious forms of water, avoid washing dishes, showering, or bathing during a lightning storm. If lightning strikes the house, you are at risk of electricity traveling through the plumbing. This also includes electronics, which can emit shocks if struck by lightning. This includes radios, landline phones, laptops, televisions, laundry machines, stoves or anything else that needs to be plugged into an outlet. Lightning and electricity are not friends! Keep yourself safe and seek shelter as soon as you hear thunder or see lighting. Follow safety precautions, and determine how close lightning is to you with the 30-30 rule: After you see lightning, count the seconds until you hear thunder. If you count less than 30 seconds, lightning is a threat and you should seek shelter immediately. Wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before exiting your shelter.

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