All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. If you hear the sound of thunder, then you are in danger from lightning. Lightning kills between 75 to 100 people each year and being outdoors in the most dangerous place to be. Always listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your area.

A THUNDERSTORM WATCH means a thunderstorm is possible for your area.

A THUNDERSTORM WARNING means a thunderstorm is taking place in your area.


  • Keep an eye at the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing winds. Lightning often proceeds rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin. If you hear the sound of thunder, go to a safe place immediately.
  • The best place to go is a sturdy building or a car, but make sure the windows in the car are shut. Avoid sheds, picnic areas, baseball dugouts and bleachers.
  • If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as far as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
  • If you’re with a group of people stay about 15 feet from each other.
  • Stay out of water. It’s a great conductor of electricity. Swimming, wading, snorkeling and scuba diving are not safe. Also, don’t stand in puddles.
  • Avoid metal. Stay away from clotheslines, fences, and drop your backpacks because they often have metal on them.
  • If you’re playing an outdoor activity, wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike or thunder.


  • Avoid water. It’s a great conductor of electricity, so do not take a shower, wash your hands, wash dishes or do laundry.
  • Do not use a corded telephone. Lightning may strike exterior phone lines.
  • Do not use electric equipment like computers and appliances during a storm.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.


  • Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or send for help immediately.
  • The injured person does not carry an electrical charge, so it is okay to touch them.
Weather information