Lightning Safety


Lightning Stop Hiking

The odds of being struck by lightning in Canada are lower than one in a million. Yet each year, about 6 to 12 Canadians are killed by lightning and many more are injured. One well-known lightning guideline is the "30-30" rule: Take appropriate shelter when you can count 30 seconds or fewer between lightning and thunder, and remain sheltered for 30 minutes after the last thunder.

30 Seconds:
When there are fewer than 30 seconds between the flash of lightning and the rumble of thunder, you should seek immediate shelter in a well-constructed building. If no such building is nearby, then the best choice is to get into a hard-topped vehicle such as a car, van or RV. If you are caught outside and cannot quickly get to a building or vehicle, then you should do the following:

Avoid being the tallest object around;
Avoid being NEAR the tallest object around (i.e. an isolated tree);
Avoid being near objects that conduct an electrical charge (metal fence, power lines, golf clubs, fishing rod, etc.);
Get out of, or off, the water.

30 Minutes:
Maintain lightning safety precautions for 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning or rumble of thunder. There have been a number of documented cases of lightning striking the ground many kilometres away from a thunderstorm, even though the storm may be moving away.

If caught outdoors far from shelter, stay away from tall objects.
This includes trees, poles, wires and fences.
Take shelter in a low-lying area but be on the alert for possible flooding.

More Information

A good resource is Environment Canada Lightning Safety.