Play It Safe Around Lightning
There’s nothing like spending a warm day outside enjoying your favorite sports activity, whether it’s on the golf course, baseball diamond or a fishing boat. When the weather is right for outdoor sports, it can also be perfect conditions for a thunderstorm to roll in, with the potential for lightning. About 30 people are killed by lightning each year, according to the National Weather Service. Two-thirds of those fatalities are associated with outdoor recreational activities.
Safe Electricity wants you to be safe this season with the following tips to protect you while participating in outdoor sports:
- Organized sports activities should have a designated official who will watch for approaching dark clouds and any lightning in the area. Designated officials and anyone participating in outdoor sports should have a lightning safety plan with tips on when the activity should be stopped, where peoples hould go for safety and when activities can resume.
- Stop outdoor activity if you see lightning. Lightning can strike up to 10 to 15 miles away from the storm. Follow the simple phrase: When thunder roars, go indoors.
- No place outside is safe during a storm, including dugouts, sheds or rain shelters. If you don’t have access to a sturdy building, a hard-topped metal vehicle with the windows rolled up provides good protection from the elements.
Because electrical charges can linger in clouds even after the storm passes, weather experts recommend you wait 30 minutes after the last sounds of thunder before resuming any outdoor activity. If it is an organized sports activity, the designated official should make the call on when to return to the field.
Whether it is an organized sports activity, a round of golf with friends or a game of basketball in the driveway, plan to make your outdoor sports safe this season and don’t let lightning strike you out.
For more information on lightning safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.