Please remember: If you can hear thunder,
you are close enough to be struck by lightning!
Seek shelter immediately!
- Lightning photo courtesy of Larry Johnson
If Above Treeline:
- Find the lowest point of open area and move there quickly.
- Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding and no water is running through it.
- On open ground, squat low on something dry (non-metal), keep your feet close together, make yourself the smallest possible object with the least contact with the ground.
- Do Not Lie Down!
If Below Treeline:
- Move to a sturdy building or inside a hard topped car with the windows rolled up.
- Get out of boats and away from water.
- Avoid low spots with water running through or pooling.
- In the woods, with no other options, take shelter under the shorter trees.
Have everyone be aware of changing weather and appoint someone to be a lightning and thunder lookout. Plan extra time to get everyone below treeline before a storm is upon you. If caught above treeline, spread out to avoid multiple victims through side flashes.
Avoid During Lightning:
- Alpine areas or mountaintops
- Objects that stick up from the ground such as single trees
- Water—either running through an area/campsite or pooling
- Metal objects (in/on your pack, pots, tent poles, stove and pack frame)
- Open areas
- Shallow caves
- Cell phones