Lightning Safety Week, June 21-27

June 9, 2009
OPA 116/09

News Highlights  

  • Lightning Safety Week, June 21-27.
  • “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.”
  • Sign up for CEAN to stay updated about approaching thunderstorms. Find more information about CEAN online

More Information 

Lightning Safety Week, June 21-27, emphasizes the dangers of lightning and how to prepare for and stay safe during summer thunderstorms. Its theme is “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.”

On June 3, lightning struck and killed a boy at a baseball field in Spotsylvania County. Lightning also can cause many serious injuries and problems, such as memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, dizziness, stiffness in joints and depression.

At the first clap of thunder, go indoors or into an enclosed vehicle. Remain inside until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.

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 rain.

  • 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.

Stay updated about approaching thunderstorms by signing up for the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN), which sends emergency alerts and day-to-day updates about severe weather and traffic to registered users.

For more information about lightning safety, call the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000, TTY 711.


Get News. Get Information. Get Fairfax County.Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711

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