Prairie lightning

Best Shelter Recommendations When Caught in a Storm

Source: National Lightning Safety Institute

Though no place is absolutely safe from lightning, some places are safer than others.  Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance.  Seek safe shelter immediately.

If caught outside:

·       Seek shelter in a large enclosed building (not a picnic shelter or shed)

·       Another safe location is an enclosed metal vehicle, car, truck, or van (but not a convertible, bike, or other topless or soft top vehicle). Remain in the vehicle for at least 30 minutes after hearing the last sound of thunder

·       Don’t touch the metal of the vehicle if struck

·       Do NOT seek shelter under partially enclosed buildings

·       Stay away from tall isolated objects (like trees)

·       Stay away from all water sources (pools, hot tubs, water/feeding troughs)

·       Stay off porches

·       Do not go into dog houses (or let your pets go in their dog house)

·       Pets chained to trees or any sort of metal can easily fall victim to a lightning strike

·       Lightning is likely to strike the tallest objects in a given area – you should not be the tallest object

·       If you are on an open field and there are no structures or vehicles nearby, lay down as flat as you can in the lowest spot you can find (a ravine or earth indentation for example)

·       Avoid isolated tall trees, hilltops, utility poles, cell phone towers, cranes, large equipment, ladders, scaffolding, or rooftops

·       Retreat to dense areas of smaller trees that are surrounded by taller trees, or retreat to low-lying areas (valleys, ditches) but watch for flooding

If you are indoors:

·       Inside of buildings, stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity

·       Stay away from plumbing (it probably is holding water which conducts)

·       Stay away from windows and doors. Metal windows and door frames are lightning conductors and pose a threat