When Thunder Roars

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Lightning Safety
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Remember: No place outside is safe in a Thunderstorm!

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In schools, offices and other buildings, when the power goes out due to a thunderstorm, emergency lights and exit signs will remain lit for your safety until electricity is restored.

How to use these pages 

"When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!"

There is no place outside that is safe in a thunderstorm.  No place. But you need not be afraid of thunderstorms if you understand lightning and know what to do. Lightning can travel for miles from a cloud to the ground, so when you hear thunder, lightning is already close enough to strike you if you are outside. 

"There's got to be a solid wall around you on all sides"

As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, go inside a sturdy building.  Once inside, keep away from pipes, electrical equipment and wires.  Electricity can come inside if lightning strikes outside pipes or power lines. On days when you plan to be outside, watch the weather forecast, watch the sky for building dark clouds, and be prepared to move quickly indoors if thunderstorms come. If you are caught outside, avoid isolated trees, picnic shelters and covered bus stops. They offer no protection, and may actually increase your chances of being struck.  Stay away from metal fences, flag poles and lamp posts. If no other shelter is nearby, get into a car with metal sides and roof, and roll the windows up.

"And stay there 'til the thunder's gone and half an hour besides"

After the storm is over, wait thirty minutes after the last flash of lightning or boom of thunder before going back outside.  But be careful!  Even before you hear thunder, lightning can strike, so always know the weather forecast, and watch the sky for possible developing thunderstorms.  Sports coaches, golfers, scout leaders and campers should have a good lightning safety plan and use it when thunderstorms threaten.

Key words to the song:
"When thunder roars, go indoors, there's lightning all around,
It's close enough to make things rough when you can hear the sound.
You'll stay safe if you stay inside."

Talk with Your Friends and Your Family:
1. How can you know when lightning is close enough to strike you?
2. When you hear thunder, where would you go if you were out in your yard?  On the school playground?  At a sports game?  At the pool?  Camping?
3.  How can you know if thunderstorms might occur on a day you plan to be outside?
4. When is it safe to go back outside after a thunderstorm?
5. Why is thunder something no one needs to be afraid of? (Go here for a hint)
6. How can you know when a storm might have more dangers such as tornadoes?


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ęCopyright 2010 Nick Walker/Small Gate Media