Be Prepared - Lightning Safety
Animated Lightning Animated Lightning



Includes procedures for: Hail, Lightning, High winds, and Tornado

1. Storm approach information about possible severe storms will be received at the Administration Building, by one or more methods (Amateur radio, NOAA radio, or ESID storm detector). Unit leaders, Scouts, and Staff will be notified by radio or audible emergency signal. The Camp Director makes the decision when to sound which audible emergency signal, covered in number 3 and 4 below.

2. Storm "Watch" condition. This means conditions are favorable for a T-storm to develop. Camp Staff will notify each unit and program area. Adults should watch for and report any adverse weather changes to the Admin. Bldg., and be alert for the sounding of an audible emergency signal. Unit Leaders should take care not to unduly alarm Scouts or cause any panic, but should approach the situation in a calm manner.

3. Storm "Warning" condition. This means a T-storm is apparently approaching Skymont. A typical T-storm may last between 15 minutes and approximately 1 hour. A wailing siren is the audible emergency signal for this condition, sounded from the Admin. Bldg. All program areas will close immediately. Unit Leaders and Scouts will return to their campsites. Staff will report to the Admin. Bldg. Upon return to campsites, Unit Leaders will conduct a headcount muster. If any person/s are not accounted for, a runner will be sent to the Admin. Bldg. with that information. Upon return to campsites, Unit Leaders and Scouts will secure their campsites, making sure all tents are tied down securely and flaps are tied shut. Follow instructions for lightning protection in no. 5 below. All personnel must be in tents, off the ground, on wood pallets. This is the best protection in campsites. Be alert for possible evacuation to the Dining Hall or other camp building. If in campsites, remain there until the "all clear" - several short tones - is sounded. After every storm, Unit Leaders must check on the safe condition of all Scouts. Report any injuries or camp damage to the Admin. Bldg.

4. Evacuation to Dining Hall or other camp building for cover. This step will be taken if information is received that severe wind, lightning, hail, or tornado is approaching. A continuous tone is the audible emergency signal to do this, sounded from the Admin. Bldg. If time allows, runners and verbal notification may be made, instead of the above emergency signal. When in the Dining Hall for cover, all persons should stay away from the windows. The best cover is along the east and west walls near the side entrances, and along the back walls in the kitchen. In other camp buildings, the best cover is along an inside wall. All personnel should remain in the Dining Hall or other camp building until the "all clear" - several short tones is sounded.

5. If caught out of doors during an approaching storm. Lightning is the hazard to protect most from. Avoid tall or isolated trees, open spaces, open water, wire fences, metal clotheslines, small sheds, metal equipment, wired telephones. Take off pack frames with external or internal metal frames. Some protection may be found in dense forest in a depressed area, under short trees, where taller trees on higher nearby areas offer protection. Do not huddle together in a group. Spread out at least 15 feet apart. If your skin tingles or hair tries to stand on end, immediately do the "LIGHTNING SAFE CROUCH ". Squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet, with your feet close together. Place your hands on your knees, with your head between them. Be the smallest target possible, and minimize your contact with the ground.

6. Flash Flood condition. It is remotely possible after very heavy rain, for this condition to occur temporarily, especially in very low areas, or downstream of any lake dam overflow, such as our Cope Course area. Avoid low areas during and after heavy rains, especially after dark. All campsites are located out of such areas. Do not camp overnight close beside a stream.

7. Serious injury or loss of life. In this event, the Camp Director will begin official notification procedures. All media contacts will be conducted through the Camp Director. Staff and Scouts are not to contact or speak with the public media without the knowledge of the camp Director.

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

Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2024 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)

(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)