Staying safe is a personal responsibility, experts warn. Ears and eyes are more reliable than a warning system. When it's thundering, you are likely within striking distance of the storm.

• Know the weather forecast and change your plans if necessary.

• Go to a fully enclosed building that has a roof, walls, floor, and plumbing or wiring. Once inside, stay away from showers, sinks, bathtubs and electronic equipment including computers and corded telephones.

• If a building is not available, go to a fully enclosed, metal-topped vehicle such as a car or truck.

• If you have to be outside, stay away from trees and avoid staying in groups, since if one gets hit, everyone could. If someone is struck, someone else needs to do CPR.

Sources: National Weather Service; Monte Bateman, National Space Science and Technology Center, and Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, University of Illinois Department of Emergency Medicine