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Lightning Safety Raul Martinez, L.A.T. Outdoor Events Lightning is the most frequent weather hazard impacting athletics events. Baseball, football, swimming, soccer, tennis, track and field events...all these and other outdoor sports have been visited by lightning. Outdoor Events

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LightningSafety

Raul Martinez, L.A.T.


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Outdoor Events

  • Lightning is the most frequent weather hazard impacting athletics events. Baseball, football, swimming, soccer, tennis, track and field events...all these and other outdoor sports have been visited by lightning.


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Outdoor Events

  • Local weather forecasts - from The Weather Channel, NOAA Weather Radio, or local TV stations - should be observed 24 hours prior to athletic events. An inexpensive portable weather radio is recommended for obtaining timely storm data.


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Outdoor Events

  • Suspension and resumption of athletic activities should be planned in advance. Understanding of SAFE shelters is essential. SAFE evacuation sites include:

    • Fully enclosed metal vehicles with windows up.

    • Substantial buildings

    • The low ground. Seek cover in clumps of bushes.


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Outdoor Events

  • UNSAFE SHELTER AREAS include all outdoor metal objects like flag poles, fences and gates, high mast light poles, metal bleachers, golf cars, machinery, etc. AVOID trees. AVOID water. AVOID open fields. AVOID the high ground


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Outdoor Events

  • If you feel your hair standing on end, and/or hear "crackling noises" - you are in lightning's electric field. If caught outside during close-in lightning, immediately remove metal objects (including baseball cap), place your feet together, duck your head, and crouch down low in baseball catcher's stance with hands on knees


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Outdoor Events

  • People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to handle. Apply first aid immediately if you are qualified to do so. Get emergency help promptly


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Flash-to-Bang

  • The Flash-to-Bang (F-B) Method requires no dedicated detector: Count the time in seconds from seeing lightning's flash to hearing the associated thunder or bang. For each five seconds, lightning is about one mile away. Thus, a F-B of 10 = 2 miles; 15 = 3 miles; 20 = 4 miles; etc.


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Flash-to-Bang

  • For most situations we recommend activating lightning defenses at a F-B of 30 or when lightning is detected six miles away

  • We recommend waiting to resume activities for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder


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Flash-to-Bang

  • Thunder is heard from the associated lightning when it is within our audible range. That acoustic distance can extend beyond 6 miles. When thunder is heard a heightened lightning safety status should be enacted


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Storm Hawk

  • Software program that enables Athletic Trainers to have real time weather data available specific to a location

    • GPS enabled device

    • Lightning strikes updated every minute

    • Radar updated every 5-8 minutes


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Storm Hawk

  • All High School Athletic Trainers

    • Creekview

    • Ranchview

    • Smith

    • Turner

  • Middle School Athletic Trainers

    • Field (Bush)

    • Perry (Polk)

    • Long (Blalack)


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