Consider Lightning Safety for Outdoor Activities

Know how to lower the risk of being struck by lightning

Whether your church members spend time at camp, the lake, or the local playground, keep in mind that lightning safety is not just for your building, but for people as well. While the National Severe Storms Laboratory says lightning causes only 350 reported injuries or deaths each year, a few safety measures can all but eliminate the risk:

  • PLAN your evacuation and safety measures. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, immediately seek shelter. Suspend outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes following the last observed flash of lightning or clap of thunder.
  • AVOID water, high ground, open spaces, metal objects, open rain shelters, and trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed vehicle with the windows completely shut.
  • IF LIGHTNING STRIKES NEARBY, crouch down, put your feet together, and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder. Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 feet) to other people.
  • IF LIGHTNING STRIKES A PERSON, CALL 911 or send for help immediately. Then, provide first aid. It’s safe to touch lightning victims—they don’t carry an electric charge.

For more information, refer to the National Lightning Safety Institute.