Thunderstorms & Lightning


  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area.

  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon.

*If you are advised to take shelter, do so immediately.*

Before the Storm

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.

  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.

  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.

 During the Storm

  • A safe building is fully enclosed with a roof, walls, and floor, such as a home, school, office building or a shopping center.

  • Unsafe shelter includes small structures such as sheds, greenhouses and car ports, patios, open garages and tents.

  • Hard-topped vehicles are safe.


The major threat from a thunder and lightning storm is the lightning. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from area where it is raining so it is important to seek safe shelter as soon as you hear thunder. Visit the National Weather Service website for information on Lightning Safety

To minimize your chances of being hit by lightning when stranded outdoors during a lightning storm you must remember these guidelines:

  • Know the weather forecast. If there is a high chance of thunderstorms, limit your outdoor activities.

  • DO NOT touch any metal surfaces. Stay away from metal objects, such as fences, poles and backpacks.

  • If you seek shelter in your vehicle, make sure all doors are closed and windows rolled up.

  • DO NOT seek shelter under tall isolate objects such as trees.

  • DO NOT seek shelter under partially enclosed buildings.

  • Lightnng strikes the tallest object in the area, which may be you in an open field. Sitting or crouching on the ground should be a last resort if an enclosed building or vehicle is not available.

News & Press Releases »

Preparedness Tools

  • Family Preparedness Planner

    Family Preparedness Planner (Flash required)

    Additional Languages

Multimedia & Downloads »

Social Media »