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When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Release date: 
June 26, 2013

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Thunderstorms and lightning are in the forecast for much of New England this week. To be safe from dangerous lightning follow this simple rule: When thunder roars, go indoors.

Lightning kills an average of 55-60 people a year in the U.S. But 90 percent of those who are struck survive, often with permanent neurological disabilities. Eighty percent of lightning fatalities occur among men who were fishing, boating, golfing, biking, or working outdoors.

To be safe remember the 30/30 rule:  If you see lightning and cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up. Stay in the safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  1. Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  2. Stay away from plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  3. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  4. Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

 Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

  1. If you are in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
  2. In an open area go to a low place such as a ravine or valley. Be alert for flash floods.
  3. On open water get to land and find shelter immediately.
  4. Never lie flat on the ground.
  5. Never shelter under an isolated tree.
  6. Get away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.
  7. Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

To find out more and for resources to help teachers, communities, organizations and families stay safe from lightning dangers, go to or

Last Updated: 
October 28, 2014 - 14:16