Protection Tips

When you see lightning count the seconds until you hear the thunder and divide by 5. Anything under 40 seconds (8 miles) puts you in danger of a strike, take shelter immediately.

If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning, take shelter.



  • Take shelter in a sturdy building or hard top car (roll up windows).
  • If no buildings or cars are available, find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles.
  • If in the woods, take shelter under shorter trees.
  • If you feel your skin tingle or hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them to make yourself as small a target as possible and minimize your contact with the ground.
  • Unplug appliances not necessary to obtain weather information.
  • Use phones only for an emergency
  • Turn off air conditioners to avoid damage to compressors
  • Stay under a tree, in an open field, on or near water, remain on a hilltop.
  • Continue outdoor sports or work activities.
  • Use indoor appliances such as: computers, hair dryers, telephones and more.
  • Take a bath.
  • Stay outside when a storm is approaching. Occasional lightning occurs even during this stage.
  • Go back outside when the storm is dissipating. Lightning is still a danger.
  • Think that lightning is only a warm weather hazard. It can accompany snow or freezing rain.
  • Stay in a convertible car.