Severe Rainstorms

Severe rainstorms can include thunderstorms, lightning and heavy rainfall that can lead to flooding. These are real risks that can impact citizens and properties. To stay safe, monitor forecasts through the media and sign up for weather alerts.

Thunderstorm safety

Thunderstorms can bring lightning, heavy rain, hail, strong winds and tornadoes. Be aware of weather conditions and warnings. Seek shelter immediately if a warning has been issued.

When indoors

  • Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors – strong winds and large hailstones can shatter them.
  • Avoid taking showers or baths.
  • Remain indoors and stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
  • Be prepared to seek shelter in a basement or interior room on the lowest level if conditions worsen.

When outdoors

  • If thunder is heard, that means lightning is close enough to be dangerous – take shelter in an enclosed building or metal-topped vehicle.
  • If there’s no shelter, go to a low-lying area away from tall, isolated objects – crouch down, do not lie down.

Lightning safety

On average, Canada experiences more than two-million lightning strikes annually. If thunder is heard, there is a risk of being struck by lightning.

When indoors

  • Avoid running water in the house – lightning can enter through pipes and plumbing.
  • Remain indoors for 30 minutes after the last roar of thunder as lightning can happen at the end of a storm.
  • Do not handle electrical equipment, telephones or plumbing as they can conduct a lightning bolt.

When outdoors

  • Go to the nearest solid brick building – sheds, picnic shelters, tents and covered porches do not protect from lightning.
  • If there is not a sturdy building nearby, get into a metal-roofed vehicle and close all the windows.
  • Stay away from tall objects such as trees, poles, wires and fences.
  • If out on the water, get to shore immediately.
  • If there are no nearby shelters, go to a low-lying area.
  • If a person has been struck by lightning, call 911 immediately – victims of lightning strikes do not carry an electrical charge.


Learn more about power outage safety tips.

Contact Information

Emergency Planning

Joint Operations Centre
2800 Rutherford Rd.
Vaughan, ON L4K 2N9

Mailing Address

Vaughan City Hall
2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.
Vaughan, ON L6A 1T1