Severe Thunderstorms and Lightning Safety Tips

Although severe thunderstorm warnings are NOT issued for lightning, you should move to shelter when thunder is heard as lightning can strike 10 to 15 miles away from where the rain is falling.

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General Tips

  1. If outside, go to a safe shelter immediately, such as inside a sturdy building. A hard top automobile with the windows up can also offer fair protection.
  2.  If you are boating or swimming, get out of the water immediately and move to a safe shelter away from the water!
  3. If you are in a wooded area, seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees.
  4. If you feel you hair standing on end, squat with your head between your knees. Do not lie flat!
  5. Avoid: Isolated trees or other tall objects, bodies of water, sheds, fences, convertible automobiles, tractors, and motorcycles.
  6. If inside, avoid using the telephone (except for emergencies) or other electrical appliances.
  7. Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.

While Driving

  1. Tune in to your radio to stay informed of approaching storms.
  2. If you see a tornado or hear a tornado warning, don't try to outrun it. 
  3. Turn on your headlights (low beams) and slow down. Many states require the use of headlights during rain.
  4. Allow extra distance for braking.
  5. Do not drive unless necessary.
  6. Pull safely onto the shoulder of the road away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle.
  7. Stay in the car and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rains subside.
  8. An automobile provides better insulation against lightning than being in the open.
  9. Avoid contact with any metal conducting surfaces either inside your car or outside.
  10. Avoid flooded roadways.
  11. Avoid downed power lines.
  12. Check your windshield wipers and tires regularly to insure that they are ready for severe weather.
  13. Approach intersections with caution
  14. Treat traffic lights at intersections as stop signs.