Fort Riley, Kansas



Lightning Safety – When thunder roars, go indoors

By Jessica Healey | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | August 07, 2014

Lightning is a hazard that accompanies most severe weather in the spring and summer.

“Lightning is very unpredictable, which increases the risk to individuals. Most lightning deaths and/or injuries occur during the summer months during the afternoon and early evening,” said Chris Hallenbeck, installation emergency manager, Emergency Management Office, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. “It is important to watch for developing thunderstorms and be ready to react when thunder is heard. Lightning strikes can occur as far as 10 miles from the storm area where it is raining. Remember, if you can hear the thunder, you are within striking distance.”

According to the National Weather Service:

• No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.

• If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

• When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter, including a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows up.

• Stay in a safe shelter for at least 30 minutes after hearing the last sound of thunder.

• Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put someone in direct contact with electricity.

• Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

• Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

• Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.

If a person is caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce his or her risk:

• Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks

• Never lie flat on the ground

• Never shelter under an isolated tree

• Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter

• Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water

• Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)


Fort Riley’s AtHoc alert system sends a message to Fort Riley community members when severe weather is in the area and when there is an increased chance for dangerous lightning. To sign up for AtHoc text messages, common access cardholders can visit the following locations:

• At your work computer – on post only

• Any Department of Defense computer with dual CAC card readers

• Laptop kiosks located at: Army Community Service, 7264 Normandy Drive on Custer Hill; and the Replacement Company, 208 Custer Avenue, In-processing, 210 Custer Avenue, and the ID Card Center, 212 Custer Avenue, all on Main Post.

Family members can sign up at their unit’s family readiness group offices or at their sponsor’s unit on any local area network computer. A CAC cardholder can sign up a spouse or dependent by clicking on the purple globe at the bottom right-hand side of his or her computer screen, on any computer connected to the local area network.

For more information about how to build a kit, make a plan or receive severe weather alerts at Fort Riley, visit For more safety tips on lightning from the NWS, visit

Tag Lightning   Tag Ready Army   Tag Severe Weather