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 create or cause:
- Powerful winds over 50 mph
- Flash flooding and/or tornadoes
Prepare for Thunderstorms and Lightning
Know Your Risk
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.
Strengthen Your Home
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.
Make an Emergency Plan
Create an emergency plan so that you and your family know what to do, where to go and what you will need to protect yourselves from the effects of a thunderstorm. Identify sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study and play.
Stay Safe During Thunderstorms and Lightning
If you are under a thunderstorm warning:
- When thunder roars, go indoors! Move from outdoors into a building or car with a roof.
- Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
- Avoid using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.
- Avoid running water.
- Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Do not drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
Stay Safe After Thunderstorms and Lightning
- Pay attention 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.
Learn more from ready.gov.