Lightning cloud

Lighthing is hotter than the surface of the sun and can reach temperatures around 50,000°F. Whereas lightning usually strikes one spot on the ground, it can travel many miles through the air.

Thunder is the sound caused by nearby lightning and can be heard up to 10 miles from the lightning strike. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of the storm.

When Thunder Roars Go Indoors


When you hear thunder, immeidately move to a full enclosed building.

  • If there is severe lightning, stay off corded phones, computers, or other electrical equipment.
  • Avoid plumbing.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

If you are in a vehicle and unable to access a building:

  • Pull over to the side of the road; avoid parking near or under large trees.
  • Turn on the emergency flashers and turn off the engine.
  • Place your hands in your lap and do not touch anything metallic/electronic.
  • If electrical wire falls on your vehicle,
    • Call 911 or UMPD (413-545-3111) and remain in your vehicle until emergency personnel arrive.
    • The wire may be live, therefore your car will remain electrified until the electricity is shut off.
      • Any metal parts of your car, inside and out, can conduct electricity. You can get electrocuted by turning on the ignition.

If you are outside and unable to access a building:

  • Immediately get away from elevated areas such as hills, mountains, and peaks.
  • Do not lay on flat ground.
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree.
  • Stay away from conductors of electricity, such as water, barbed wire, fences, and power lines.