Lightning myths and facts

  • MYTH:  If it is not raining, then there is no danger from lightning.
  • FACT:   Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • MYTH:  The rubber soles of shoes or rubber tires on a car will protect you from being struck by lightning.
  • FACT:   Rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide no protection from lighting.  However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.  Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • MYTH:  People struck by lightning carry an electrical charge and should not be touched.
  • FACT:   Lightning-strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.  Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information on CPR and first aid classes.
  • MYTH:  "Heat lightning" occurs after very hot summer days and poses no threat.
  • FACT:    What is referred to as "heat lightning" is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for thunder to be heard.  However, the storm may be moving in your direction!