What if a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect/issued?

You observe and/or hear lightning and thunder, or thunderstorms are in the forecast.

A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect what should you do?

At Home

If you are at home, protect yourself and your family by following the safety tips below:

  • Follow weather reports. Make sure a battery-powered radio is nearby.
  • Do not turn on the television. Listen to The Weather Channel Radio Network for the most current information.
  • Lightning can cause power surges. Unplug all appliances before the storm hits.
  • Avoid using the phone. Telephone lines can conduct electricity.
  • Metal pipes also conduct electricity. Stay away from faucets, sinks, and bathtubs.
  • Close the blinds and shades of your window, then keep away from them.
  • Keep pets on a leash or in a carrier.

Away From Home

There are times when storms come up suddenly.

If you are away from home, protect yourself and your family by taking cover in the best shelter you can find.

  • If you are in or near the water, go to land immediately and find shelter.
  • If choosing between a building or a car, choose the building.
  • If choosing between a hard-top and a convertible, choose the hard-top.
  • If you're in a car, keep the windows closed.
  • If there is no shelter, find a low-lying, open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles, or metal objects that can conduct electricity. Make sure it is not likely to flood.
  • Assume a tucked position: Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of your body to the ground as possible.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground, as your fully-extended body will provide a larger surface to conduct electricity. Stay in a tuck position well after the storm passes.
  • Watch for local flooding you may have to move if water begins to accumulate.
  • If you feel your hair stand on end in a storm, drop into the tuck position immediately. This sensation means electric charges are already rushing up your body from the ground toward an electrically charged cloud. Minimize your contact with the ground to minimize your injury.

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?