ROLLING THUNDER REVIEW: Safety Office reminds USAG Ansbach about storm safety

(Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

ANSBACH, Germany (May 19, 2017) – With spring comes the greater possibility of lightning and thunderstorms. If thunder roars, go indoors, because no place outside is safe when lightning is in the area. Stay indoors until 30 minutes have passed after hearing the last clap of thunder.

A THUNDERSTORM WATCH means a thunderstorm is possible for your area.

A THUNDERSTORM WARNING means a thunderstorm is taking place in your area.


  • Avoid water. It’s a great conductor of electricity, do not take a shower, wash hands, dishes, or do laundry.
  • Do not use a corded telephone, lightning may strike exterior phone lines; do not use electric equipment like computers and appliances during a storm; and stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.


  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing winds. Lightning often proceeds rain, so if you hear the sound of thunder, go to a safe place immediately.
  • The best place to go is a sturdy building or a car; make sure the windows in the car are shut. Avoid sheds, picnic areas, baseball dugouts and bleachers.
  • If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
  • If you’re with a group of people stay 15 feet from each other.
  • Stay out of water, which is a great conductor of electricity. Swimming and wading are not safe.
  • Avoid metal: Stay away from clotheslines, fences, and drop your backpacks because they often have metal on them.
  • If you’re playing an outdoor activity, wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike or thunder.


  • Drive a clean car in good condition
  • When visibility is limited by wet weather, it’s important that your car itself doesn’t impede your sight. Once a month, clean the outsides and insides of windshields and windows, and check your windshield wiper blades for wear.
  • Know the roads, and take a moment to consider your route, too. If it takes you through low-lying bridge underpasses or past ditches prone to flooding, it might be a good day to take the autobahn instead.
  • Switch on lights, not brights: Though many newer cars come with automatic running lights, turn on the actual headlights when using windshield wipers so your taillights come on as well.
  • Slow down: Leave at least five seconds of following distance between your own car and the one in front, and don’t feel pressure to drive the posted speed limit. The speed listed is the maximum speed for perfect weather and road conditions.
  • Never use cruise control on wet roads. If you hydroplane under cruise control, the automatic acceleration can cause you to lose control of your vehicle when your tires regain traction.
  • Don’t get in too deep: If water is covering the markings on the road, it’s too deep to drive on.
  • If you’re going too fast and end up hydroplaning, turn the wheel in the direction you want to go.
  • Hold off on unnecessary trips: It’s one thing if you need to get home to your children or you’re already on the road, but otherwise ask yourself if you’ve driven in this kind of weather before and if you’re ready to handle it right now.

Need more information?  Call your installation Safety Office, 468-1670.


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