Lightning & Thunderstorms

Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can create or cause:

  • Powerful winds over 50 mph
  • Downed trees and power lines 
  • Hail

Prepare NOW

Strengthen your home by trimming trees that may be in danger of falling onto structures or vehicles. Consider buying surge protectors for appliances and electronic devices. Don't be fooled by blue skies - if you hear thunder, lightning is close by.

Love to hike or camp? Learn how to stay safe from lightning while outdoors. Educate kids about lightning and thunder in NOAA's Owlie Skywarn's Weather Book!


If you are under a thunderstorm warning:

  • When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! Seek shelter in a building or vehicle with a roof.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Do NOT use computers or electrical equipment.
  • Stay away from metal conductors, windows, doors, and porches.
  • Do not shower, bathe, wash dishes, or wash hands during a storm. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
  • Do not shelter under a tree. Being underneath trees is the second leading cause for lightning deaths.
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water.
  • Stay in safe shelter for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.


  • Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside.
  • Watch for falling power lines and trees. Report them immediately.