Thunderstorms and Lightning Safety...

A learning tool from

A.      Before the Storm…

  1. Know the vicinity in which you live and the names of other places. Severe Weather warnings are issued on the Weather Forecasting Section of PAGASA.
  2. Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors.
  3. Watch for signs of approaching storms.
  4. If a storm is approaching, always listen to your AM/FM radio.
  5. Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
  6. Check on those who have trouble taking shelter if severe weather threatens.

B. When Thunderstorms Approach…

  1. Remember: if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately!
  2. Move to a building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
  3. If lightning is occurring and a sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard top automobile and keep windows up.
  4. Get out of boats and away from water.
  5. Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones ONLY in an emergency.
  6. Do not take a bath or shower.
  7. Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressors.
  8. Get to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible. Once flooding begins, abandon cars and climb to higher ground. Do not attempt to drive to safety. Note: Most flash flood deaths occur in automobiles.

C. If Caught Outdoors and No Shelter Is Nearby...

  1. Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.

  2. If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.

  3. If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stands on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible, and minimize your contact with the ground.

  4. If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

D. Protect Yourself

  1. When a thunderstorm or lightning threatens, get inside a home or building, or inside an all metal vehicle (not a convertible). Stay indoors.

  2. Stay away from open doors and windows, fireplaces, radiators, stoves, metal pipes, sinks and appliances.

  3. Do not use plug-in appliances; hair dryers, electric blankets or electric razors during the storm. Except for emergencies, do not use the telephone; lightning may strike telephone lines outside. If outside, with no time to reach safe cover.

  4. Do not stand beneath a tall isolated tree or other natural lightning rod. Avoid standing above the surrounding landscape. Get away from tractors and other metal farm equipment.

  5. Get off and away from motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, golf carts, etc.

  6. Do not use metal objects like fishing rods, golf clubs, etc.

  7. Stay away from wire fences and anything high that would conduct electricity.

  8. Stay in your automobile if traveling. If no buildings are available, get in a canyon,ditch, cave, or under head-high clumps of trees and shrubs. If only isolated trees are nearby, crouch low to the ground, about twice as far away as the trees are tall. When you feel an electrical charge- if your hair stands on end or your skin tingles; lightning may be about to strike. Drop to the ground immediately.

E. First-aid

  1. Persons struck by lightning receive a severe electrical shock and may be burned, but they carry no electrical charge and may be handled safely.

  2. A person killed by lightning can often be revived by prompt mouth to mouth resuscitation, cardiac massage, and prolonged artificial respiration.

  3. In a group struck by lightning, the apparently dead should be treated first; those who show vital signs will probably recover spontaneously, although burns and other injuries may require treatment.