All thunderstorms produce lightning and have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.
Lightning’s risk to individuals and property is increased because of its unpredictability, which emphasizes the importance of preparedness. It often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months in the afternoon and evening.
During a Thunderstorm:
- Stay inside a building or hard-top vehicle.
- Stay clear of tall, isolated trees, hilltops, open fields, beaches, or any metal objects that may act as lightning rods.
- Avoid showering, bathing, and using a phone that has a cord, except in an emergency. (Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.)
- Unplug appliances, televisions, computers and air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- If outside, take cover immediately but never stand under a tall tree in an open area.
- Don’t touch metal, electrical equipment, telephones, bathtubs, water faucets or sinks.