What to Do During a Severe Thunderstorm Watch

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio, or local radio or television stations for updated information. Local authorities will provide you with the best information for your particular situation.
  • Avoid natural lightning rods such as golf clubs, fishing poles, tractors, bicycles, and camping equipment. Lightning is attracted to metal and poles or rods.
  • Be prepared to seek shelter if a severe thunderstorm approaches. A sturdy building is the safest place to be during a severe thunderstorm. Avoid unprotected gazebos, rain or picnic shelters, golf carts, baseball dugouts and bleachers. While many people take shelter from rain in these locations, they are often isolated structures in otherwise open areas, and, therefore, a target for lightning. In addition, gazebos and picnic shelters are often poorly anchored and subject to being uprooted and blown around in strong thunderstorm winds. They also offer little protection from large hail.
If you perceive a severe thunderstorm approaching:
  • Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture that could blow away or cause damage or injury. Take light objects inside.
  • Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors. This will help protect your house from damaging winds or flying debris.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Lightning could follow the wire. Television sets are particularly dangerous at this time.
  • Avoid bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks because metal pipes can transmit electricity.