Thunderstorms can be destructive and extremely dangerous. They bring high winds, heavy rains and dangerous lightning, which is one of the leading causes of weather‐related deaths in the United States each year. Being prepared in advance and ready to act quickly will help ensure your safety.
Before Thunderstorms Strike
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Shutter the windows and secure the doors.
- If a thunderstorm is likely in your area, postpone outdoor activities.
During a Thunderstorm
- Get inside a home, building or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated trees in an open area. If you're in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
- Avoid hilltops, small structures in open areas, open fields, the beach or boats on the water.
- In an open area, go to a low place like a ravine or valley, but watch for flooding. On open water, get to land and find shelter immediately.
- Avoid anything metal, such as tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts and bicycles.
- Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Listen for weather updates from local officials.