Lightning & Thunderstorms

Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can create or cause:

  • Powerful winds over 50 mph
  • Downed trees and power lines 
  • Hail

Prepare NOW

Strengthen your home by trimming trees that may be in danger of falling onto structures or vehicles. Consider buying surge protectors for appliances and electronic devices. Don't be fooled by blue skies - if you hear thunder, lightning is close by.

Love to hike or camp? Learn how to stay safe from lightning while outdoors. Educate kids about lightning and thunder in NOAA's Owlie Skywarn's Weather Book!


If you are under a thunderstorm warning:

  • When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! Seek shelter in a building or vehicle with a roof.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Do NOT use computers or electrical equipment.
  • Stay away from metal conductors, windows, doors, and porches.
  • Do not shower, bathe, wash dishes, or wash hands during a storm. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
  • Do not shelter under a tree. Being underneath trees is the second leading cause for lightning deaths.
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water.
  • Stay in safe shelter for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Be safe AFTER

  • Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside.
  • Watch for falling power lines and trees. Report them immediately.

Snow Storms

Winter storms can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, and ice. Older adults, young children, and sick individuals are at greater risk for frostbite and hypothermia. Storms can last a few hours or several days. They also have the potential to knock out heat, power, and communication services.

Prepare NOW

Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups. Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Remember the needs of your pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights. If you are unable to afford your heating costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.


If you are under a winter storm warning:

  • Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.

Be safe AFTER

  • Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage during power outages.
  • Be cautious of black ice. It is most dangerous in the early morning due to below freezing nighttime temperatures.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors.

Snow & Ice Removal

City of Puyallup

The Public Works Street Division is responsible for the maintenance of all City streets, including snow and ice removal.  The Snow Plow & Deicer Route Map lists City streets and their prioritization levels.  A street that is highlighted red (or Level 1) is classified as a high priority route.

Is your neighborhood in unincorporated Pierce County & in need of a snow plow?  Call the snowplow hotline at (253) 798-8888 or visit the Pierce County Road Status Map.