Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

The Best Lightning Safety Tips to Protect Your Family

house surrounded by stormy clouds and lightning strikes.

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Did you know that lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun? Lightning can be as hot as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s really hot. Just thought that was an interesting fact.


In the United States, approximately 20 deaths per year occur due to lightning strikes and they severely injure hundreds more. Learn how to protect your home and loved ones with these lightning safety tips.

Basic need-to-know information about lightning safety

If you remember nothing else from the rest of this article, memorize this slogan from Weather.Gov and teach it to your kids:


When thunder roars, GO INDOORS.


Nowhere outside is really safe during a storm. If you can hear thunder, then lightning is close enough to strike. Get yourself to safe shelter and stay there until at least 30 minutes have passed since the last clap of thunder. 

Things you can do to prepare ahead of time

It might not seem like you can prepare for lightning safety before a storm, but trust me, this list will help you feel more calm when a storm is imminent.

Indoor lightning Safety Tips

Indoors will always be the safest place during a lightning storm. But, did you know that 1/3 of all lightning strike injuries occur while indoors? Here are some key things to keep in mind:

What to do if you can't safely take shelter indoors

It happens. Even if you’ve repeatedly checked the weather, thunderstorms can form quickly – especially during the summer months. Here are some lightning safety tips for when you’re stuck outside:

What to do when someone is struck by lightning

woman helping man struck by lightning.

If someone is struck by lightning, it’s important to know that very rarely will you see a burn. Lightning mostly affects the nervous system and can cause long-term neurological damage. Seeking medical attention immediately is VERY important.


  1. It IS safe to perform CPR and first aid on someone who has been struck by lightning. They do not carry an electrical charge.
  2. Call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible.
  3. Assess the situation. If it’s safe, move yourself and the victim to a better location. Do NOT move someone who is bleeding or has broken bones (rare with a lightning strike).
  4. Respond. Check for breathing and a heartbeat.
  5. Attempt Resuscitation.

If you need a refresher on CPR and basic First Aid, I highly recommend the online courses from Thrive Institute. They’re affordable and you can do them with your family. This would also be great for babysitters.


If you’re not sure if someone has been struck by lighting, here are some immediate and short-term symptoms to watch out for:


  • muscle soreness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • post-concussive type symptoms
  • mild confusion
  • dizziness
  • balance problems
  • mental cloudiness

Remember these 4 words:

Call - Assess - Respond - Resuscitate

Additional Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Since we started by talking about listening for thunder, it’s important to recognize that not everyone would be able to actually HEAR thunder.


This YouTube video is a great resource for those with living with hearing impairments. It has captions and teaches visual cues for lightning safety tips.

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