Lightning Safety for Outdoor Sports Activities

Outdoor sports and thunderstorms are a deadly combination. Soccer, baseball, softball, golf - outdoor activities on large open fields usually hit their highest point during thunderstorm season and lightning in open fields kill more people than any other outdoor place.

DON'T BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY A THUNDERSTORM

If weather warnings or your own observations confirm that thunderstorms are near when your activity is ongoing or being planned then reschedule the activity or change your plans. It may be inconvenient and you may think you can get in just one more inning, but no game is worth being killed or disabled by lightning.

Outdoor recreational facilities, such as swimming pools and golf courses should have lightning warning and evacuation policies. Sporting events should also have these policies in place. Policies should address the issuing of warnings in time for everyone to get to safe shelter and the access to adequate safe shelter such as a clubhouse or locker room.

There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm. Designate someone from your group to be a storm watcher so you can minimize your risk if thunderstorms develop or approach during your outdoor activities.

REMEMBER ONE VERY IMPORTANT RULE: If you can hear thunder then you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning from the storm.

YOU CAN ALSO USE THE 30/30 RULE.

Step 1: When you see lightning, count the seconds until you hear thunder.
Step 2: If this time is 30 seconds or less, then quickly go inside a substantial building. If you are not able to go into a building then the next best choice would be a metal-topped vehicle.
Step 3: Wait at least 30 minutes after seeing the last lightning or hearing the last thunder before resuming outdoor activities.

If you get caught outdoors and lightning has struck close to you - crouch down on the balls of your feet. Your goal is to make the smallest contact with the ground as possible. Do not search for shelter under tall or isolated trees or around any metal poles or posts. Avoid areas near lakes, ponds, railroad tracks and fences. It is better to be wet from rain than dead from lightning.

REMEMBER

THERE IS NO REASON TO BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY A THUNDERSTORM

DON'T IGNORE THE SIGNS AROUND YOU THE CONSEQUENCES COULD BE DEADLY!!

 
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Designed by Jerren Saunders
Last Updated: June 12, 2002