Although lightning strikes are less likely to occur on the West Coast, it is still a good rule of thumb to keep in mind that if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

What to know

  • The 30-30 Rule:

-30 Seconds: Count the seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder. If this time is less than 30 seconds, lightning is still a potential threat. Seek shelter immediately.

-30 Minutes: After the last lightning flash, wait 30 minutes before leaving your protected area.


  • Stop all outdoor activities.
  • Seek shelter in a building or hard-topped vehicle
  • Avoid open ground and large trees
  • Avoid water (pools, lakes, and beaches)
  • Stay away from doors, windows, and metal objects
  • Use the 30-30 rule for outdoor activities

If someone is Struck by Lightning:

  • Call DPS using the emergency phone number (213)-740-4321
  • Provide directions and information to DPS about the lightning strike and number of victims.
  • If the person is unresponsive and not breathing provide CPR if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Most importantly move yourself and the victim to a safer location and away from further harm.

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