Prepare for Thunderstorms & Lightning

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Publishing Organisation:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • English
  • Severe weather
Disaster Management Phase

After, Before, During

Thunderstorms are common and can be dangerous.

They can bring intense wind, flash flooding, hail and dangerous lightning.


Know Your Risk

  • Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms.
  • In most places they can occur year-round and at any hour.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system.

Strengthen Your Home

  • Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home.
  • Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances and electronic devices.

Make an Emergency Plan

  • Create an emergency plan so that you and your family know what to do, where to go and what you will need to protect yourselves from the effects of a thunderstorm.
  • Identify sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study and play.


If you are under a thunderstorm warning:

  • When thunder roars, go indoors!
  • Move from outdoors into a building or car with a roof.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Avoid using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.
  • Avoid running water.
  • Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
    • Do not drive through flooded roadways.
    • Just 15cm of fast-moving water can knock you down, and 30cm of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.


  • Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
  • Watch for fallen power lines and trees.
    • Report them immediately.


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