Lightning is the second leading cause of direct weather deaths in the U.S., after floods, and results in more fatalities each year than tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Given the random nature of lightning strikes, absolute protection cannot be guaranteed to any individual or group. Individuals are ultimately responsible for their personal safety and should take appropriate action when threatened by lightning.
- Identify in advance a location (e.g., building, bus, personal automobile) that would be safe during a thunderstorm. Locations that offer little or no protection from lightning include tents, golf carts, open-sided shelters such as parking garages, or the open area under the stands at Princeton Stadium. Some recommended locations for Reunions workers include dormitories attached to Reunion sites, Alexander Hall, the Chapel and Frist Campus Center.
- Public Safety will attempt to notify Reunion sites if a severe storm is expected and if evacuation of the site is recommended. However, you don’t need to wait for notification if you see lightning or hear thunder - go to the safe location immediately. Lightning often precedes rain; so don't wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities.
- If you are caught outdoors during severe weather, avoid high ground, open spaces, and water. Avoid all metal objects including electrical wires, fences, machinery, motors, and power tools. Avoid standing under Reunion tents; while they provide protection from the rain, they do not provide protection from lightning. If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should:
- Crouch down and put your feet together. Place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
- If part of a group, spread out. You should avoid being in close proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.
- Suspend outdoor activities until the Reunion site receives an “All Clear” message from Public Safety. If no Public Safety officer is available, suspend outdoor activity for at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning flash or thunder clap.
- Persons injured by a lightning strike do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call Public Safety at 911 from any campus phone, 609-258-3333 from any cell phone, or send for help immediately.
Please contact EHS at 609-258-5294 with questions about severe weather preparedness.