Wisconsin Emergency Management

Lightning Safety for Coaches and Officials

Get Ready for Tornadoes Lightning Kills...Play it Safe!

  • All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. In an average year, lightning kills over 60 people in the U.S.-more than either tornadoes or hurricanes.
  • Lightning fatalities have been reported in Wisconsin in each of the last two years. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far as 10 miles from any rainfall.
  • If you hear thunder, you are in danger! Anytime thunder is heard, the thunderstorm is close enough to pose an immediate lightning threat to your location.
  • Have a lightning safety plan. Designate a safe location before the event starts. Have specific guidelines for suspending the activity so that everyone has time to reach safety.
  • Prior to a practice or event, check the latest forecast. If thunderstorms are expected, consider postponing activities early to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
  • If you hear thunder, suspend your activity immediately and instruct everyone to get to a safe place. Substantial buildings provide the best protection. Avoid sheds, small or open shelters, dugouts, bleachers, and grandstands. If a sturdy building is not nearby, a hard-topped metal vehicle with windows closed will offer good protection.
  • If boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter.
  • Do not resume activities until 30 minutes have passed since the last thunder was heard.

Lightning Myths & Truths

Tornado Safety
in Schools
Tornado Safety
at Home, work
or at Play
Stay Informed
with NOAA
Weather Radio

Severe Weather Watches and Warnings Family

Fact Sheet

ReadyWisconsin is an initiative of Wisconsin Emergency Management designed to educate and empower Wisconsinites to prepare for
and respond to all kinds of emergencies including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

Wisconsin Emergency Management
2400 Wright St.
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: 608.242.3000     Fax: 608.242.3247