Tips on Lightning Safety Awareness from FEMA Philly

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This article comes to EPA-ARRL via our friends at FEMA’s Philly office. Lightening is one of Nature’s most powerful forces and most hams well know. With Field Day coming up fast, the tips and reminders included are worth reviewing.


Good morning-

With the balmy weather and warm spring air finally around us, the allure of outdoor activities and unpredictable weather patterns are on the rise, as is the increasing likelihood of lightning strikes. Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year and it continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. During this month, raise awareness for how citizens should prepare themselves and their home for lightning as well as the correct protective actions one should take if lightning or severe storms occur in their area. Below is the new Taglines and new DIY Actions for Lightning Awareness Month in June.

The purpose of both of these resources is to provide you with Do It Yourself (DIY) tools that make it easy for you to lead by example. Included in this email:

· 5 DIY tagline quotes that folks can voluntarily add to their email signature block to continually direct readers to preparedness resources.

· DIY preparedness tips culled from the toolkit to reinforce the new month’s Preparedness Themes.

Our goal is to provide tools that everyone can use and share to spread the message. We are always open to any feedback or suggests. These DIY tools will always be synchronized with ongoing seasonal preparedness themes throughout the year.

JUNE’S DIY tagline encourages everyone to learn more about lightning safety actions and develop good storm awareness.

Add one of the below Taglines to your emails:

1)“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work” – Mark Twain

2)“It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.” – American Proverb

3)“My mind raced and I thought, ‘What could I do?’…and I knew, there was no help, no help from you.” – ‘Thunderstruck’. The Razors Edge, 1990. AC/DC

4)“When Thunder Roars – Go Indoors”

5)“When you see the lightning flash, get out of the pool fast.”

This month’s quote, when clicked, will link you directly to Lightning Safety resources provided by the National Weather Service and NOAA.

Directions: If you are using Outlook:

Step One: Left click on the quote and select “copy”

Step Two: Open a new email and go to the “Insert” Tab

Step Three: Click on “Signature” and select “signature…”

Step Four: Click in the Box at the bottom (where you can edit your current Signature), and scroll to the end.

Step Five: Left hand click in the box and select “paste” and the banner will appear.

Step Six: Click “Okay”

June’s DIY tips can be posted on bulletin boards, reinforced at meetings, be adapted into talking points in any venue, to SPREAD AWARENESS AND TAKE SAFETY ACTIONS IN CASE OF LIGHTNING:

Lightning: What You Need to Know

  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water

Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)


Amanda Hancher

Public Affairs Specialist – Community Preparedness


BB: (215) 459-3637

Mobile: (240) 506-1864


FEMA’s Mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that

as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability

to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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All it takes is a ctrl + click! to learn more about Lightning Safety. Try it below!

“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work” – Mark Twain

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