The following are the guidelines for what you should do if a thunderstorm is likely in your area:
- Postpone outdoor activities
- Get inside a home, building, or hardtop vehicle. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside your vehicle than outside.
- Remember, rubber soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
- Secure outside doors and close window blinds, shades or curtains.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Use a corded telephone only in emergencies. Cordless and cell phones are safe to use.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Use your battery-operated Radio for updates from local officials.
AVOID the following:
- Natural lightning rods such as tall, isolated trees in an open area.
- Hilltops, open fields, the beach, or a boat on the water.
- Isolated sheds or small structures in open areas.
- Anything metal-tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs and bicycles.
If you are in the forest- Seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
In open water- Go to land and find shelter immediately.
In an open area- Go to a low place such as a ravine or a valley. Be alert for flash floods.
The National Weather Service (BISMARCK) will issue the following:
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH
Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather radio, commercial radio, television or your scanner for local information.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
Is issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life or property to those in the path of the storm. Monitor the above mentioned sources of more information.
Remember the 30/30 lightning rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot county to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors or under shelter for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder!