Watch the sky. Be aware (and wary) of darkening skies, lightning flashes, wind gusts, or rumbles of thunder.
If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Find shelter immediately!
Find shelter in a building or hard-top vehicle. Keep car windows fully closed and avoid touching metal.
Avoid partially enclosed areas like porches, patios, gazebos, carports, or picnic shelters, and buildings out in the open like sheds.
Avoid standing near windows and doors. Stay away from electrical panels, cords, and receptacles, which can spark.
Avoid metal-reinforced concrete walls or slabs (patios and garage floors), and stay away from metal support posts.
Don't wear shoes with metal spikes. Don't carry metal objects like backpacks, sporting equipment, fishing poles, or tools.
Don't lean against vehicles, and don't use bicycles, motorcycles, lawn mowers, tractors, golf carts, and machinery.
If in a group of people stranded outside, spread out at least 15 feet from each other. Don't huddle together.
If you are in the woods, take shelter near the shortest trees and away from tall ones. Get well inside the grove of trees, though, rather than near the edge.
If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately. Get away from the shore too!
If stranded in a boat and unable to find a harbor, stay in the cabin with the windows closed. Otherwise, squat low near the center of the boat without lying down, and don't touch other people, metal, or water.
Avoid high places. Go to an open, low-lying place not subject to flooding and away from trees. Stay away from poles or metal objects such as lampposts, fences, bleachers, or clotheslines. Avoid railroad tracks and gates.
If you feel your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Minimize the number of contact points with the ground. Put your hands over your ears and your elbows on your knees. Don't lie down-- this will make you a larger target!
Avoid taking a bath or shower, washing hands, using the bathroom, or running water for any purpose.
Don't use land-based telephones or wear headsets. Avoid using all phones when outside.
Turn off all appliances, ESPECIALLY washers, dryers, and TV's. Unplug electronics well before the storm gets close, or not at all.
People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely. Call 911, whether they appear to need it or not. Check the victim's breathing and heart rhythm, and administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or CPR if necessary.
Sports coaches, umpires, or coordinators should have hand-held lightning detectors and/or NOAA weather radios, and have an evacuation plan already in place in case lightning approaches suddenly.
Don't use umbrellas in a storm!
Wait 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard before venturing outside.