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News Release


Ginger Walker
Emergency Management Specialist, Planning and Business Continuity

Tips Can Help UH Community Stay Safe When Lightning Strikes

Houston, June 23, 2014 — Because lightning can strike without warning, being prepared for it is always a good practice. The UH Office of Emergency Management would like to pass along some lightning safety tips from the National Weather Service during Lightning Safety Awareness Week, which is June 22-28:

Tips Can Help UH Community Stay Safe When Lightning Strikes

Lightning: What You Need to Know

  • No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after hearing the last sound of thunder.

Indoor lightning safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last resort outdoor risk reduction tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks.
  • Never lie flat on the ground.
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree.
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity, such as barbed wire fences, power lines and windmills.

For more information on lightning safety, visit the National Weather Service's Lightning Safety Page.

If you encounter lightning and a fire occurs as a result, the University of Houston's Fire Marshal's Office provides the following tips:

  • If you think your building has been struck by lightning, you see or smell smoke or see flames, call UHPD at 713-743-3333 or 911 immediately.
  • If the fire alarm is activated, you must evacuate the building immediately.
  • In the event of severe weather, you may have to evacuate to another building nearby to protect yourself from the elements.
  • Always know your evacuation routes and have a back-up plan.
  • Listen to instructions given by first responders and follow them immediately.

In the event of an emergency, visit the UH Emergency Operations Website for up-to-date emergency information.


About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.