Lightning Safety: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

99 percent of lightning strikes happen outdoors.Summer is the peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena— lightning. Thunder is the sound made by a flash of lightning.


“When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.”

Normally, you can hear thunder about 10 miles from a lightning strike. Since lightning can strike outward 10 miles from a thunderstorm, if you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm.

At the first clap of thunder, the smartest decision is to go indoors or into an enclosed vehicle. Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are safe options. Rain shelters, small sheds, and open vehicles are not safe. 

The best way to protect yourself from lightning is to avoid the threat. You simply don’t want to be caught outside in a storm. Check the weather forecast regularly, sign up for local alerts and get a NOAA Weather Radio.

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.