CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 4th of July weekend is fast approaching, and there is a chance that we could see some thunderstorms over the weekend.

Dozens of people die each from being struck by lightning so it’s important to know what to do when a thunderstorm approaches your location. Always remember when thunder roars, stay indoors.

Thunderstorm and Lightning Safety Tips

If You Are Outside

  • Go indoors immediately. If you cannot get inside, take shelter in a vehicle.
  • If you are in an open area, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley and watch out for flash flooding.
  • If you are in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a growth of small trees.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.

If You Are in a Car

  • Stay in your car if you are on the road. If driving conditions worsen, find a safe place to pull over and park.
  • Avoid touching metal or other surfaces in and on your vehicle.

If You Are Inside a Building

  • Stay away from windows and doors. Strong thunderstorms can cause flying debris that could do significant damage.
  • Avoid using a corded telephone, except for emergencies. Cordless or cellular telephones are safe to use. Unplug appliances, air conditioners, and other electrical items like computers to avoid damage from a power surge.
  • Avoid showering, bathing, washing dishes, or doing laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Avoid contact with metal objects (yard equipment, motorcycles, bicycles, etc.).
  • Stay inside until at least 30 minutes after you last hear thunder or see lightning.

If You Are in a Boat

  • Preferably stay off and definitely get off, the water whenever weather conditions are threatening. 
  • Have an adequate lightning protection system installed and have it inspected regularly.
  • Never go boating without knowing the forecast.
  • Stay in the center of the cabin if the boat is so designed. If no enclosure (cabin) is available, stay low in the boat. Don’t be a “stand-up human” lightning mast! 
  • Keep arms and legs in the boat. Do not dangle them in the water. 
  • Discontinue fishing, water skiing, tubing, swimming or other water activities when there is lightning or even when weather conditions look threatening. The first lightning strike can be a mile or more in front of an approaching thunderstorm cloud. 
  • Disconnect and do not use or touch the major electronic equipment, including the radio, throughout the duration of the storm. 
  • Lower, remove or tie down the radio antenna and other protruding devices if they are not part of a lightning protection system. 

7 Day Forecast

Download the 22News Storm Team weather app to receive live notifications sent to your phone when lightning is detected in your location.