Disaster Management Department
T. A. Division Building, Near Gol Chakkar, Dhurwa,
Ranchi
Jharkhand 834004
Phone: 651-2400218

Lightning Safety

If at home or work
lightning

Preparation

  • Look for darkening skies and increased wind.
  • If you hear thunder then you are close enough to be struck by lightning.
  • Keep on monitoring local media for updates and warning instructions.
  • Stay indoors and avoid travel if possible.
  • Close windows and doors, and secure objects outside the home (eg. patio furniture, bins, etc.)
  • Ensure that children and animals are inside.
  • Unplug unnecessary electrical appliances (to isolate them from the main power supply which may conduct a power surge during a lightning storm)
  • Remove rotten tea timber or any other debris that may cause a flying hazard

Response

  • Avoid taking a bath or shower or running water for any purpose. This is because lightning can travel along pipes. Keep away from doors, windows, fire places, stoves, bath-tubs, or any other electrical charge conductors.
  • Avoid using corded phones and other electrical equipment (mobile or cordless phones are safe)
If on foot

Response

  • Go to safe shelter immediately – avoid metal structures and or constructions with metal sheeting.
  • Ideally find shelter in a low lying area and make sure that the spot chosen is not likely to flood. Crouch down with feet together and head down to make yourself a smaller target.
  • Hairs standing up on the back of your neck could indicate that a lightning is imminent.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground; this will make a bigger target. Keep away from all utility lines (phone, power, etc., metal fences, trees, and hill tops).
  • Do not take shelter under trees as these conduct electricity.
  • Rubber-soled shoes and car tires do not offer protection from lightning.
If traveling

Response

  • Get off bicycles, motor-cycles or farm vehicles.
  • Get to a safe shelter.
  • If boating or swimming, get to land as quickly as possible and take shelter.
  • During a storm, remain in your vehicle until help arrives or the storm has passed. (The metal roof will provide protection, if you are not touching metal inside; windows should be up; park away from trees and power lines.
  • If there is a tornado involved in a storm, evacuate the vehicle and seek shelter.

Treatment

  • IMPORTANT: If at all possible get any individual who is struck by lightning to a proper facility such as a hospital.
  • If possible give basic first aid.
  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Check for broken bones, loss of hearing and eyesight.
  • A victim of lightning strike can suffer varying degrees of burning. Check the impact point and where the electricity left the body.