Struck by Lightning: What to Do

People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people, and they can be handled safely.

  1. Medical attention is needed as quickly as possible.
  2. Call for help.
    • You or someone else should call 911 or your local emergency medical services (EMS) number.
  3. Give first aid.
    • If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing.
    • If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.
    • If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries.
  4. Check for burns in two places.
    • Where the lightning struck the person and
    • Where the electricity left their body.
  5. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones and loss of hearing or eyesight.
  6. Updated: 5/2009