Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness
The Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness cannot emphasize enough the importance of lightning safety. Lightning kills more people in America every year than either tornadoes or hurricanes. The most important rule of thumb during outdoor activities is the 30-30 rule: lightning is close enough to strike and you should seek shelter immediately if less than 30 seconds elapses between seeing lightning and hearing the accompanying thunder. Do not resume activities until 30 minutes after you last hear thunder. Please visit the National Weather Service Lightning page for more important safety information.
Lightning Safety Tips
1.Plan your evacuation and safety measures. At the first sign of lightning or thunder, activate your emergency plan. Lightning often precedes rain, so do not wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities. No place is absolutely safe from lightning; however, some places are much safer than others. The safest location during lightning activity is a large enclosed building. The second safest location is an enclosed metal topped vehicle, but NOT a convertible, bike, or other topless or soft-top vehicle. 2.If outdoors, get inside a suitable shelter IMMEDIATELY. Your only safe choice is to get to a protected building or vehicle. Avoid seeking shelter under a tree as a tree can attract lightning. In the event you are outdoors without a safe vehicle or shelter, follow outdoor safety tips at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm. Although these tips will not prevent you from being hit, they can HELP lessen the odds. 3.If indoors, avoid water, doors, windows, and using the telephone and headsets. Lightning could strike exterior wires, inducing shocks to inside equipment. Any item plugged into an electrical outlet may cause a hazard. 4.Do not resume activities until 30 minutes following the last observed lightning or thunder. 5.Injured persons do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. If you are qualified to do so, apply first aid procedures to a lightning victim. Call 911 or send for help immediately.