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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• Immediately get off elevated
areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
• Never lie flat on the ground
• Never shelter under an
• 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.)
SEVERE WEATHER ALERTS
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
• At your work computer – on
• 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 www.riley.army.mil/Community/ReadyArmy.aspx. For more safety tips on
lightning from the NWS, visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/tips.htm.