Emergency Preparedness

Protect Yourself
  • When a thunderstorm or lightning threatens, get inside a home or large building, or inside an all metal vehicle (not a convertible). Stay indoors and don't venture outside unless absolutely necessary.
  • Stay away from open doors and windows, fireplaces, radiators, stoves, metal pipes, sinks and plug-in appliances.
  • Don't use plug-in electrical equipment such as hair dryers, electric blankets or electric razors during the storm.
  • Except for emergencies, don't use the telephone during the storm. Lightning may strike telephone lines outside.
  • If outside, with no time to reach a safe building or an automobile, follow these rules:
    • Do not stand underneath a natural lightning rod such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
    • Avoid projecting yourself above the surrounding landscape, as you would do if you were standing on a hilltop, in an open field, on the beach, or fishing from a small boat.
    • Get out of the water and off small boats.
    • Get away from tractors and other metal farm equipment.
    • Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, metal pipes, rails, exposed sheds or anything that is high that would conduct electricity. Some of these could carry electricity to you from some distance away.
    • Don't use metal objects like fishing rods and golf clubs. Golfers' cleated shoes are particularly good lightning rods.
    • Stay in your automobile if you are traveling. Automobiles offer excellent lightning protection.
    • Get off and away from motorcycles, scooters, golf carts and bicycles.
    • If no buildings are available, your best protection is a cave, ditch or canyon, or under head-high clumps of trees or shrubs.
    • If only isolated trees are nearby, your best protection is to crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from isolated trees as the trees are high.
    • When you feel the electrical charge - if your hair stands on end or your skin tingles - lightning may be about to strike. Drop to the ground immediately.
First Aid
  • Persons struck by lightning receive a severe electrical shock and may be burned, but they carry no electrical charge and may be handled safely.
  • A person "killed" by lightning can often be revived by prompt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, cardiac massage, and prolonged artificial respiration.
  • In a group struck by lightning, the apparently dead should be treated first; those who show vital signs will probably recover spontaneously, although burns and other injuries may require treatment.
Other Emergency Procedures