What to do:

If lightning threatens when you are inside:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Keep away from open doors or windows, radiators, metal pipes, sinks, and electrical appliances.
  • Do not use plug-in electrical equipment.
  • Do not use landline telephones. Lightning may strike the telephone lines outside.

If lightning threatens when you are outside:

  • Seek shelter immediately if lightning or thunder can be seen or heard.  Lightning can strike 20 miles ahead of the parent cloud, so if you can see it or hear it, you are within striking distance.
  • Safe shelters include buildings or metal-roofed cars. If sheltering in a car, close the windows, and stay away from metal.
  • Do not seek refuge under a tree or in open metal structures such as bleachers or dugouts. Stay away from tall objects and water.
  • If you are outside and feel your hair stand on end or your skin tingle, you may be in imminent danger. Immediately assume a crouched position, place your arms on your legs and your hands over your ears, and then lower your head.  Remember not to lie flat.  Once this sensation has passed, seek shelter immediately.
  • When lightning or thunder occurs, allow 30 minutes to pass after the last lightning strike or sound of thunder before resuming outdoor tasks.
  • If a person is struck by lightning, immediately call 911.  If you have appropriate training, be prepared to assist the victim until help arrives.  Since a person who has been struck by lightning does not carry a charge, it is safe to administer rescue breathing or CPR.

For additional information regarding lightning safety contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 607-753-2508.