Severe Weather Awareness Week 2010 – Lightning

This is post #3 in a series published for Severe Weather Awareness Week 2010. Today’s post focuses on the hazards of lightning.

…Lightning Awareness Day…

Severe weather awareness week continues today with a look at lightning safety. Here are some lightning safety rules.

Any lightning safety plan should incorporate the 30/30 rule. The 30/30 rule states people should seek shelter if the flash to bang delay (length of time in seconds between a lightning flash and its subsequent thunder) is 30 seconds or less and that they remain under cover until 30 minutes after the final clap of thunder.

Move inside a well constructed house… a large building… or an all metal vehicle. Stay away from electrical appliances and do not use the telephone.

If you are in a boat… get off the water and into a substantial building… or at least into an enclosed and all-metal vehicle with the windows up. If you’re caught in an open metal boat… lie down in the boat with cushions between you and the metal sides and bottom.

If you are caught outdoors… get down to avoid being the highest point for a lightning discharge. If you’re caught in a flat open field or if you feel your hair standing on end… crouch down and cover your head with your hands. That way only your feet will touch the ground.

Move away from motorcycles… scooters… golf carts… bicycles… tractors… and other metal farm equipment. Avoid wire fences… clothes lines… metal pipes… drains… railroad tracks… and other metallic objects.

Avoid lone trees and the tallest trees. If caught in the woods… pick a small grove of trees as your shelter and stand at least 5 feet from the trunk of the nearest tree to avoid flying bark if the tree is struck.

Avoid standing in a small isolated shed or other small ungrounded structure in other areas.

If in a group of people in an open area… spread out before you kneel down.

On Wednesday… we will conduct a tornado drill between 9 and 10 A.M. in Tennessee… Arkansas… and Mississippi. provides the latest severe weather information for the Memphis metropolitan area. This includes all watches and warnings, an interactive severe weather map of the Mid-South, and free delivery of severe weather alerts for the metro area via e-mail and Twitter. Find these services under the “Severe” menu on

Most of this post’s content courtesy of the National Weather Service.

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Michael Detwiler
14 years ago
Michael Detwiler
14 years ago

Thanks for the lightning information my friend!!

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