Do you know where to take shelter?
Select a lightning bolt to get safety tips
When a thunderstorm strikes
There is no truly safe place outside during a lightning storm. But these tips may help your stay safer.
In the woods
By a single tall tree:
Not safe. If you're in a forest, stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. Crouch down in a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears.
Inside a vehicle (hard-top):
Safe. Roll up all the windows. Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last thunderclap.
In a tent:
Not safe. A tent offers zero protection against lightning. If you have no other shelter, set up camp in a low area.
In the open:
Not safe. If you're stuck in the open, put space between you and any other people. Crouch in a ball so you're low, and touch the ground as little as possible.
On the water
In a boat:
Not safe. If you're stuck in a boat, stay inside the cabin—or get as low as possible if there is none. Avoid touching metal.
In the water:
Not safe. Water conducts electricity. Get to land if you're in the water and see a storm approaching.
Near a metal pole:
Not safe. Metal conducts electricity. Stay away from metal poles and other metal objects.
In a gazebo:
Not safe. Open structures like porches, gazebos or picnic shelters are not safe during a lightning storm.
Inside a house (or fully enclosed building):
Safe. Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last thunderclap. Don't use corded phones or electrical equipment. Stay away from windows, doors, water and plumbing.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Weather Service