Lightning Safety – When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors


June 15, 2010
OPA 119/10

News Highlights

  • Lightning Safety Week, June 20-26.
  • Sign up for CEAN to stay updated about approaching thunderstorms.

More Information 

Image of Lightning

Lightning Safety Week, June 20-26, emphasizes the dangers of lightning and how to prepare for and stay safe during summer thunderstorms. The theme is “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.”

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

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.

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.

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

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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)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711


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