If a storm is coming or under way, get indoors.
Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for raindrops to fall before going indoors. Lightning can travel through wiring and water pipes, so stay away from bathtubs, sinks, corded phones and anything that uses electricity, like TVs, computers, video games or appliances. Keep away from windows and open doors. Stay indoors for 30 minutes or more after you hear the last thunder.
If you must be outside during a thunderstorm, stay near proper shelter.
Proper shelter is a large, enclosed building with conventional wiring and plumbing. Count the time from when you see lightning to when you hear thunder. If the time is 30 seconds or less, seek shelter. Don't leave the shelter until 30 minutes or more has elapsed after the last thunder.
If you can't get indoors:
If lightning is about to strike near you, squat.
- Your next best choice is to get into a hardtop car – not a convertible – and roll up the windows. Don't touch the car frame, steering wheel, ignition, gearshift or radio. Avoid open vehicles like golf carts (even with roofs), tractors, etc.
- Lightning is drawn to tall objects and metal. Avoid trees, canopies, small picnic or rain shelters and anything metal, such as flagpoles, metal bleachers, golf clubs, tall light poles, etc.
- Avoid rivers, lakes and swimming pools. If you are boating, head to shore.
- Avoid wide-open areas, including sports fields.
If you are outside, far away from proper shelter, and lightning threatens, the safest thing for you to do is to move at least 15 feet away from other people, put your feet together, squat down, tuck your head and cover your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder. Do NOT lie down or put your hands or knees on the ground. When the immediate threat of lightning has passed, continue heading to the safest spot possible.
Go indoors or get into a hardtop car if you see lightning or hear thunder. If you can't get indoors, stay away from tall objects, metal objects, bodies of water and wide-open areas.