What should to do before lightning strikes?

Rocky Lopes, Disaster Services representative for the American Red Cross, offers the following advice. "It's important for people to realize that they and only they must be responsible for preparing for a thunderstorm."

Make certain that everything you need is in one specific, easy-to-access location. It must be readily available for you to simply grab when needed.

Be Informed

Check the incidence of lightning in your area by contacting an expert source like your local American Red Cross chapter or check the business listing of your white pages.

Determine your severe weather insurance eligibility now.

Find out more from:

  • Your insurance agent
  • National Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-800-942-4242
  • The Insurance Information Institute at 1-800-331-9146

Learn how to help in an emergency. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for training in administering First Aid and CPR, and how to treat lightning shock.

Check your local weather forecast or tune into The Weather Channel before planning any boat trips, water-based, or outdoor events.

Be Prepared

Develop a Family Preparedness Plan that includes the following:

  • Designate a friend or family member outside our area to be a contact in case a storm knocks out your electricity. Update these plans every school year, and as places of employment and residence change.
  • Your Family Emergency Supplies Kit. These contents can be assembled over a five-month period on a weekly basis, and perishable items should be changed or replaced every six months.
  • For more information on assembling and refreshing supplies, contact the American Red Cross for their Disaster Supplies Kit brochure.
  • Prepare your property by removing dead or rotting trees and branches that can damage your home in a lightning strike or in the high winds that may occur.

If you plan to spend the day outdoors, look for a place to take shelter if weather turns bad.

If a thunderstorm threatens your area, you can monitor its progress by turning on The Weather Channel or tuning into your local weather forecast.

Show All Answers

1. What are some of the facts about lightning?
2. Are you at risk?
3. What should I know about anticipate lightning?
4. How close is the lightning?
5. How will you be warned?
6. What should to do before lightning strikes?
7. What if a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect/issued?
8. What about after the storm?
9. What are some lightning myths?