Hazard Preparedness

Lightning Safety

If lightning threatens, seek shelter immediately. An enclosed building offers the best protection. If there are no sturdy buildings nearby, get into a vehicle and close the windows.

  • If you cannot find any shelter, go to a low-lying area, crouch down with your feet together and hands on your knees, and wait until the storm has passed.
  • Keep away from utility poles, towers, isolated trees or bodies of water.
  • Don't use a corded phone except in an emergency. Cordless and cell phones are safe to use.
  • Keep away from electrical appliances, TVs, fireplaces, metal objects, plumbing, pipes, showers, windows or doors.
  • If someone has been struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 or your local ambulance service. Give first aid if you are qualified. Lightning victims are safe to touch and need medical attention immediately.

Register for severe weather alerts, major roadway closures and other emergency notifications for Seminole County at AlertSeminole.org.

Lightning Detectors

  1. Thor Guard lightning detection systems are utilized at all Seminole County active parks. This equipment is designed to detect and predict lightning by measuring the static electricity in the atmosphere and monitoring how much energy is building and changing BEFORE lightning occurs.
  2. Seminole County parks with lightning detectors include:
    • Boombah Sports Complex
    • Boombah Soldiers Creek Park
    • Sylvan Lake Park
    • Sanlando Park
    • Seminole County Softball Complex
    • Red Bug Lake Park
    • Moore Station Road Fields
    • Greenwood Lakes Park

Understanding Lightning Alerts

  1. A 15-second siren will sound eight to 20 minutes in advance of a potential strike, so that park participants, patrons and staff can take shelter.
  2. All activities must stop upon alert, and all participants, patrons and staff must seek shelter immediately (in a building or automobile), even if the weather appears not to be threatening.
  3. Pavilions and dugouts are not suitable lightning shelters, as lightning can strike at an angle.
  4. When the area is clear, three blasts of the siren will be heard and activities may resume.

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

  1. There is little you can do to substantially reduce your risk if you are outside in a thunderstorm. The only safe action is to get inside a safe building or vehicle.
  2. If you absolutely cannot get to safety indoors, you can slightly lessen the threat of being struck with the following tips:
    • Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.
    • Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in an area with many trees, stay near a lower stand of trees.
    • If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.
    • If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area. Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lighting.
    • Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.

When Lightning Threatens on Lakes and Rivers

  1. For boaters, most lightning injuries and deaths on boats occur on small vessels with NO cabin. Check the forecast before you go boating, kayaking or canoeing to ensure weather is favorable. If you are on the water and cannot get back to safety, here are some tips:
    • Drop anchor and get as low as possible.
    • Remember to stay inside the cabin, when available, and away from any metal surfaces.
    • Stay off the radio unless it is an emergency!

Indoor Lightning Safety

  1. The safest location when lightning threatens are buildings with electricity and plumbing or metaltopped vehicles with the windows closed. Picnic shelters, dugouts and small buildings without plumbing or electricity are not safe.
  2. There are three main ways lightning enters structures: a direct strike, through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure or through the ground. Once in a structure, lightning can travel through the electrical, phone, plumbing, and radio/television reception systems. Lightning can also travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Below are some key safety tips for you, your pets and your home in the event of lightning:
    • Stay off corded phones. You can use cellular or cordless phones.
    • Don't touch electrical equipment such as computers, TVs, or cords. You can use remote controls safety.
    • Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes.
    • Stay away from exterior windows and doors that might contain metal components leading from outside your home to the inside.
    • Stay off balconies, porches and out of open garages or car ports.
    • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
    • Bring pets inside.
    • Do not unplug equipment during a thunderstorm as there is a risk you could be struck.
    • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
    • Bring pets inside.