bring heavy rains (which can cause flash flooding), strong
winds, hail, lightning and tornadoes. In a severe thunderstorm
get inside a sturdy building and stay tuned to a
battery-operated radio for weather information. Severe thunderstorms
can strike at any time of the day or night. The heaviest volume
of severe thunderstorms occurs from April through September.
Lightning is a
major threat during a thunderstorm. In the United States,
between 75 to 100 Americans are hit and killed each year by
lightning. If you are caught outdoors, avoid natural lightning
rods such as tall, isolated trees in an open area or the top of
a hill and metal objects such as wire fences, golf clubs and
If you are swimming, get out of the water and seek shelter. If
boating, return to shore. Inside your home; keep away from
windows and doors, avoid use the telephone unless there's an
emergency and don't use electrical appliances.
If you see
wires on the ground, DON'T GO NEAR THEM! Downed wires may be
"live" and extremely dangerous. If you see downed wires, call
your local electrical provider.
It is a myth that
lightning never strikes twice in the same place. In fact,
lightning will strike several times in the same place in the
course of one discharge.
thunderstorms and lightning can be found throughout the United
States, they are most likely to occur in the central and
IS A THUNDERSTORM?
thunderstorm is formed from a combination of moisture, rapidly
rising warm air and a force capable of lifting air such as a
warm and cold front, a sea breeze or a mountain. All
thunderstorms contain lightning. Thunderstorms may occur singly,
in clusters or in lines. Thus, it is possible for several
thunderstorms to affect one location in the course of a few
hours. Some of the most severe weather occurs when a single
thunderstorm affects one location for an extended time.
Lightning is an electrical discharge that results from the
buildup of positive and negative charges within a thunderstorm.
When the buildup becomes strong enough, lightning appears as a
"bolt." This flash of light usually occurs within the clouds or
between the clouds and the ground. A bolt of lightning reaches a
temperature approaching 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit in a split
second. The rapid heating and cooling of air near the lightning
Wind Damage-A Checklist
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Plan Worksheet - Information Sheet
Tips for Pets, Livestock & Wildlife
& Water In An Emergency
Sheet: Thunderstorms & Lightning
Pets & Disasters -
Actions Fact Sheet-Shelter
or Plywood Window Covers
& Lightning -The Underrated Killers!
Property - Trees & Airborne Debris