NOSHA News June 2015

Severe Summer Weather Safety Tips

These Severe Weather Safety Tips are provided courtesy of the National Weather Service

Lightning: What You Need to Know

  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!

  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.

  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.

  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks

  • Never lie flat on the ground

  • Never shelter under an isolated tree

  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter

  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water

  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, etc.)

Myths and Facts About Lightning

Myth: If it is not raining, there is no danger from lightning

Fact: Lightning often strikes away from rainfall. It may occur as far as ten miles away from rainfall.

Myth: Rubber soles on shoes or rubber tires on a car will protect you from being injured by lightning.

Fact: Rubber provides no protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides some protection if you are not touching metal.

Myth: People struck by lightning carry an electrical charge and should not be touched.

Fact: Lightning victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

Myth: Heat lightning occurs on very hot summer days and poses no threat.

Fact: What is referred to as heat lightning is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction.

What To Do During a Tornado

  • The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.

  • If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.

  • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.

  • If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.

  • If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter, immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If you see large objects flying past while you are driving, pull over and park. You now have two choices:

  • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.

  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, in a deep ditch for instance, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.

For more severe weather safety information, visit

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