Thunderstorms can produce several types of hazardous weather including hail, damaging winds, floods and tornadoes.  However, lightning is the number one cause of weather related fatalities in Florida.  Almost all lighting will occur within 10 miles of its parent thunderstorm.  It can strike much farther than that. 

The safest place during a thunderstorm is inside a large, enclosed structure.  If no buildings are available, an enclosed vehicle, van or school bus makes a good alternative.  If no cover is available, crouch low to the ground on the balls of your feet – do not lie down.

Lightning Alert System

Often striking with little or no warning, lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injuries

  • Lee County Parks & Recreation has installed lightning alert systems at two dozen park locations.
  • The alert system is a weather-monitoring tool.
  • When the system detects lightning within 10 miles of a site, the air horns sound an uninterrupted 15-second blast and the strobe light will activate.
  • Park patrons who hear the horn and/or see the light need to seek shelter immediately.
  • When the system no longer detects a threat, three 5-second blasts from the horn will sound and the strobe light will stop working.
  • No system is fool-proof. Park visitors should always assess weather conditions before going outside and always be prepared to take the appropriate action needed to ensure one's safety.
  • For more information on lightning safety, download the WeatherBug app for your iPhone or Android device.

What to Avoid

  • Indoors:
    • Electrical appliances & outlets
    • Corded phones
    • Desktop computers
    • Showing, taking baths, using sinks
    • Doors, windows & porches
  • Outdoors
    • Water, wet or metal objects
    • Standing in groups
    • Open or elevated areas
    • Tall trees, or other tall objects

Wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder to go outside. For more information visit