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When There’s Lightning, Bolt to Safety

It's too easy to think we're invincible when it comes to lightning storms—going outside, staying in the pool, or continuing our walking tour as thunder sounds in the distance. However, none of these are safe activities when lightning and thunder are in the area. Instead, move indoors when thunder roars—a simple step that each year could save more than 400 people from getting struck by lightning.

In recognition of Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 19 – 25, 2016, FEMA has released these tips to encourage everyone to get storm safe:

  • There is no safe place outdoors when thunderstorms are in the area. Get indoors and avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment, plumbing, and windows and doors.
  • Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Get out of and away from water!
  • Electricity always seeks the shortest path to its destination. Avoid tall, isolated trees or other tall objects in a lightning storm.
  • When camping, set up in a valley, ravine or other low area. Tents and open-sided shelters don't provide protection from the dangers of lightning. If there isn't a substantial building nearby, take shelter in your vehicle.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder before going back outside.
  • Anyone struck by lightning will need immediate medical attention. Call 911 and remember: Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to touch.

Find other valuable lightning safety tips by visiting and Consider downloading the free FEMA app, available for your Android, Apple or Blackberry device, so you have the information at your fingertips to prepare for severe weather.


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