Be Prepared - Lightning Safety
Animated Lightning Animated Lightning


  • Before the storm: Check weather forecasts ahead of time. Know the area you're in. Watch the sky. Listen to NOAA broadcasts for "watches"(stormy conditions likely), or "warnings"(actual storms).

  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter right away.

  • Best shelter is in a sturdy building or hardtop vehicle.

  • Outdoors, shelter is in a low area under shorter trees when tall trees are nearby. Take off a metal frame pack. Put on your rain gear.

  • Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or under tall trees when shorter trees are nearby.

  • Stay away from metal items like pipes, fences, telephone poles and lines. Use the telephone only in an emergency. Do not take a bath or shower, and don't hold an electrical appliance.

  • If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, Do the "LIGHTNING SAFE CROUCH " 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. Stay this way until the storm passes, perhaps 15 to 45 minutes.

This web page was written by Jack Wright,
Skymont Scout Reservation, Chattanooga, Tennessee
with web authoring assistance by Michael F. Bowman,

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