Thunderstorm Preparedness Tips
“When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.”
At the first clap of thunder, the smartest decision is to go indoors or into an enclosed vehicle. Remain inside until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
- A thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area.
- A thunderstorm warning means a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to take shelter then do so immediately.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides these safety tips:
Monitor developing thunderstorms. The “Flash to Bang” method can help
estimate your distance from lightning. If you see lightning, count the
number of seconds until you hear thunder. Divide the number of seconds
by five to get the distance in miles.
If you can hear thunder, seek shelter. Even if it is not raining,
lightning can strike within 10 miles of an area that is experiencing
Stop all outdoor activities at the first clap of thunder to give
yourself time to move indoors. Leaders of outdoor events should have a
plan for moving participants inside.
If you cannot go indoors, squat low to the ground to make
yourself the smallest target possible. Go to a low-lying area and stay
away from trees, poles and metal objects.
Avoid electrical equipment, plumbing, windows and concrete floors and
walls when indoors.
- Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone has been struck by lightning. People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge
- Thunderstorm Preparedness (Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management)
- Thunderstorm Preparedness (NOAA)