Lightning Safety

Formalize and implement a lightning-safety policy or emergency action plan for lightning safety.  Components should include:

  1. Chain of command identifying who will make the call to remove athletes, coaches, officials, etc. from the field or activity.
  2. Designate a weather watcher who will notify the chain of command if severe weather becomes dangerous.
  3. A means of monitoring local weather forecasts and warnings.
  4. List of specific safe locations.
  5. Specific criteria for suspension and resumption of activities.
  6. Use recommended lightning-safety strategies
  7. Safe location from the lightning – any substantial, frequently inhabited building.  The electric and telephone wiring aid in grounding a building.  It is important to not be connected to these pathways while inside the structure during ongoing thunderstorms.
  8. A fully enclosed vehicle is also a location from the lightning as another safe location.  Convertible cars and golf carts do not provide protection.  Remember not to touch any metal.
  9. Avoid being in contact with, or in proximity to, the highest point of an open field or on the open water.
  10. Do not take shelter under or near trees, flag poles, or light poles. 
  11. By the time the flash-to-bang count approaches 30 seconds, or is less than 30 seconds, all individuals should already be inside or seek immediate safety.
    1. Flash to bang is the length of time it takes to hear the thunder after seeing the lightning flash.  5 seconds = 1 mile.
    2. Once an activity has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder or lightning flash before resuming an activity or returning outdoors.
    3. Avoid taking showers and using plumbing facilities (including indoor and outdoor pools). 
    4. Individuals who feel their hair stand on end or skin tingle or hear crackling noises should assume the lightning-safe position:
      1. Crouched on the ground, weight on the balls of the feet, feet together, head lowered and ears covered.  Do not lie flat on the ground.