Storm Safety Indoors
Lightning can travel through the plumbing, so during a storm do not wash dishes or laundry, bathe, shower, or use any of your faucets.
Avoid going near any openings, as they provide less protection from lightning. Close all blinds, curtains, shutters, and shades.
Avoid concrete floors and do not lean on concrete walls during a thunderstorm, because lightning can pass through the metal bars and wires inside of the concrete.
Because lightning can pass through an outlet and into a corded phone, you should only use a cellphone or cordless phone during a storm.
Lightning can pass through anything that is connected to an electrical outlet, so stay away from computers, gaming systems, stoves, washers, dryers, and anything else that is plugged into the wall. You should also consider buying whole-house surge protectors to protect your electronics and appliances in the event of a power surge.
Storm Safety Outdoors
If you are on a hill, mountain ridge or peak, or in a tree, get to lower ground as soon as possible.
Water is a strong conductor of electricity, so if you hear thunder while in an ocean, lake, pond, or pool, get on land as soon as possible.
A lightning strike causes currents to pass along the ground’s surface, and you could be seriously hurt if you are lying down. Instead, crouch down with your knees and feet together, tuck your head, and place your hands over your ears. This will make you the smallest possible target while also minimizing your contact with the ground.
Don’t seek shelter under isolated trees, sheds, or small structures in open areas. Instead, try to find lower ground, such as a valley or ravine.
If you are in a group, everyone should separate and stay at least fifteen feet apart. This space will help reduce the number of injuries if lightning hits the ground.
Metal is a powerful conductor of electricity, so stay far away from bikes, motorcycles, metal fences, golf clubs and carts, farm equipment, and construction equipment.
Storm Safety in Vehicles
- Keep your windows rolled up
- Keep your hands folded in your lap
- Avoid touching anything metal in the vehicle
- Do not touch the steering wheel, pedals, or radio
- Do not talk on your cell phone, especially if it’s plugged in
- Stay on the side of the road with your car off until the storm passes