Thunderstorms and Lightning

A few myths busted - lightning never strikes twice in the same place...the tires on a car will protect you from a lightning strike...if you are outside in a thunderstorm, being under a tree is a safe spot to be to stay dry.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!  It is important to stay awareStorm Ready logo of quickly developing thunderstorms in our area.  

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:

StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.

StormReady helps communities develop plans to handle all types of extreme weather—from tornadoes to winter storms. The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations. To be officially StormReady, a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

Sites and businesses that can't meet the StormReady criteria can show their support for weather safety by joining the StormReady Supporter program.

Know Your Risk

Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms. In most places they can occur year-round and at any hour. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.  Be sure to check the weather frequently during high risk times and have a lighning safety plan in place. 

Make an Emergency Plan

Create an emergency plan so that you and your family know what to do, where to go and what you will need to protect yourselves from the effects of a thunderstorm. Identify sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study and play.  The key to an effective lightning safety action plan lies in your answers to the following questions:

  1. Where is the safest lightning shelter?
  2. How far am I (or the group I am responsible for) from that location?
  3. How long will it take me (or my group) to get there?

Strengthen Your Home

Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home. Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances and electronic devices.