SAFETY TIP TUESDAY- NCESD

Provided by the North Central ESD Workers Compensation Trust

When Thunder Roars... Go Indoors!


Lightning is a leading cause of weather related fatalities in the US, killing more people in a year than tornadoes. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors during an afternoon or evening summer thunderstorm.


Lightning, which often precedes rain, can strike as far as 25 miles away from its parent thunderstorm and frequently strikes the same area or object repeatedly, especially if it’s tall, pointed, and isolated.

Don't Wait for the Rain to Begin... Create a Plan...


  • Postpone outdoor activities if a thunderstorm is imminent
  • Unplug electronics and certain household appliances BEFORE the storm hits
  • Watch the sky for darkening clouds; increasing wind; flashes of light
  • Listen for thunder

If Outdoors…


Seek Selter

  • Get inside - A fully enclosed building with walls, floor, & roof OR a nonconvertible vehicle
  • Patio canopies, picnic/rain shelters, baseball dugouts, sheds, or tents are NOT considered to be safe shelters during a thunder storm


Stay in the Safe Place -

  • Until 30 minutes has passed since the last clap of thunder


If a Safe Shelter is NOT Available:

  • Avoid open spaces, high ground, low-lying areas, and areas near water
  • Stay at least 15 feet away from other people, trees, fences, poles, etc.
  • Crouch down; keeping your feet together
  • Cover your ears with your hands to minimize hearing damage
  • Do NOT touch metal objects or concrete

If indoors...

  • Stay off porches and away from doors and windows
  • Avoid using corded phones and electrical equipment
  • Avoid contact with plumbing – do not wash your hands, do dishes or laundry, or take a shower

First Aid Treatment...

  • It’s safe to touch a person who’s been struck by lightning; they do not carry an electrical charge
  • Contact Emergency Medical Services (call 9-1-1) immediately
  • Assess the scene – THINK SAFETY; if lightning continues, move the victim to a safer location
  • Determine unresponsiveness & look for signs of normal breathing - If normal breathing is absent or if gasping, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Provide first aid treatment for other injuries (burns, broken bones, bleeding, etc.) until help arrives

Remember the 30/30 Lightning Rule...

  • If you hear thunder less than 30 seconds AFTER seeing a flash of lightning, it’s close enough to hit you!
  • After the storm ends, wait 30 minutes BEFORE resuming outdoor activities!

So Remember… If Thunder Roars… Go Indoors!

North Central ESD Workers' Compensation Trust

Providing Risk Management Services to Reduce On-The-Job Injuries