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Do the Safe Thing

Lightning Tips

  • If a storm is coming or under way, stay indoors. Lightning can travel through wiring and water pipes, so stay away from bathtubs, sinks, corded phones, and anything that uses electricity, like TVs, computers, video games, or appliances. Keep away from windows. Stay indoors for 30 minutes or more after you hear the last thunder.

  • If you must be outside during a storm, stay near proper shelter. Proper shelter is a large, enclosed building with conventional wiring and plumbing. Count the time from when you see lightning to when you hear thunder. If the time is 30 seconds or less, seek shelter. Don’t leave the shelter until 30 minutes or more has elapsed after the last thunder.


If you can’t get indoors:

  • Your next best choice is to get into a hardtop car—not a convertible—and roll up the windows. Don’t touch the car frame, steering wheel, ignition, gear shift, or radio. Avoid open vehicles like golf carts (even with roofs), tractors, etc.

  • Avoid trees, tall objects, and anything metal, such as flag poles, metal bleachers, golf clubs, tall light poles, etc.

  • Avoid rivers, lakes, and swimming pools. If you are boating, head to shore.

  • Avoid wide-open areas, including sports fields.