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Lightning Safety Tips and Myths

Can lightning strike 10 miles from a thunderstorm? Read this post in full for the answer and other important lightning safety tips.

Protecting yourself from lightning is about avoiding the locations where lightning can strike. That is locations anywhere outdoors or in unprotected structures.

Lightning Safety Tips and Myths

Lightning Safety Measures

Stay inside – Indoors is the safest place to be. Do not use wired devices, stay away from water pipes, faucets, and walls that have electrical wiring.

Head for a car – If you are not near any sound structures, get in a hard-topped automobile and do not touch any part of the metal frame when inside.

If outdoors – Distance yourself from tall objects, such as flagpoles, posts, or trees. Stay away from shorelines, railroad tracks, and metal fences.

Note: If you are unable to locate proper shelter, put your feet together, crouch down, grab your ankles, and tuck your head down as far as possible. Do not lie flat on the ground.

Lightning Safety Tips and Myths


If you do not see rain or a storm, you are OK.
Fact: Lightning can strike 10 miles from a thunderstorm.

Lightning only strikes the tallest objects.
Fact: Lightning is random and can strike anywhere.

Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: Lightning can strike twice or more. The Empire State Building is struck by lightning many times every year.

Lightning “Danger Zone” Warnings

Seek shelter if you:

  • Are near large raindrops or hail
  • See flashes
  • Hear thunder
  • See large, towering clouds
  • Hear static (crackling or popping) sounds on AM radio
  • See red, orange or yellow sections near you on weather radar (this indicates thunderstorms)

Do you know what “St. Elmo’s Fire” means? Hint: Not a movie starring Rob Lowe. It is the faint, soft blue-green glow emitting from nearby metal objects during a thunderstorm. In short, it typically indicates that a close or direct lightning strike is impending in a few seconds.

Be prepared for disasters by learning about ALE Solutions’ disaster response.


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