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IDHS > About IDHS > Get Prepared > Severe Weather Preparedness > Lightning Information Lightning Information



Lightning is unpredictable and dangerous.

While lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning is still one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States.


Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors.

  • At the first sign of lightning or thunder, seek shelter.
  • Do not resume outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes after last observed lightning or thunder.
  • Avoid the following areas: water, high ground, large open areas, isolated trees, and all metal objects or electrical wires.

If Someone is Struck by Lightning

  • Have someone dial 9-1-1 immediately.
  • People struck by lightning carry NO electrical charge and can be safely attended to immediately.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries.
  • Stay with the victim until medical professionals arrive.