1. If lightning is seen or thunder is heard, then preparing for evacuation should occur. Once lightning is detected and felt to be within 6 miles, all individuals should already be in safe structures and play should be suspended for 30 minutes. This requires awareness of the weather conditions as well as understanding how long it will take for participants and spectators to get to the safe structures. This should be considered in the EAP for each facility such that appropriate announcements can be made to spectators, play can be suspended and both spectators and participants can be safely accommodated.
Once there is less than 30 seconds between the sight of lightning and the sound of thunder, all individuals should be cleared from the field and in a safe location.
During sporting events, thunder may be hard to hear. During the day, lightning may be difficult to see. In addition, 10% of lightening occurs when no rainfall is evident, and there is a blue sky.
Phones: Cell phones and cordless phones are preferred over landlines as the latter have been associated with lightning strikes. Ideally, cell phones and cordless phones should be used within a safe location.
Imminent Lightning: If one feels the hair on their head, neck or arms stand on end, or feel skin tingling, then a lightning strike may be imminent. In this situation, if a safe location is not nearby, move several feet away from others and use the "lightning crouch" to minimize one’s risk. Put the feet together, squat down, tuck the head and cover the ears. When immediate threat of lightning has subsided go to a safe shelter. If a safe shelter is not available, seek the lowest elevation (avoid being the highest elevation where lightning is most likely to strike).
Resumption of Activity: There should be 30 minutes between the last sound of thunder and the last flash of lightning before activity is resumed. The 30 minute clock may be re-set as more activity is heard or seen. During evening activities, lightning may persist despite being far away, and the lightning channel (from the sky to the ground) should be used. More sophisticated weather review systems (internet based systems showing the exact distance of the storm as well as the direction it is moving) can be particularly useful in this regard.
If Lightning Strikes: Individuals that have been struck by lightening do not carry an electrical charge and therefore resuscitation efforts should not be delayed. Emergency treatment, including the activation of the EMS system by calling 911, applying an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in that order, should be initiated as soon as possible. If possible, the victim should be moved to a safer location prior to initiating emergency measures.
If a game is 80% played at the time of delay the official may call the game at that point. If it is not after 1- 30 minute delay and coaches do not agree that game is complete, game should be rescheduled.
Understanding the location of all structures close to the facility that are considered safe from lightning hazard.
A building normally occupied by people, with wiring and plumbing that has been grounded.
If buildings are not available, then certain other spaces are considered safe: vehicles, including school buses, with a hard metal roof (not convertibles or golf carts) with the windows shut. Individuals should not touch the metal framework of the vehicle as well as the steering wheel, ignition keys, and/or radio.
The showers or plumbing of a building. as well as electrical appliances in a building during a thunderstorm should be avoided.
Small covered shelters outside, such as dugouts, bleachers, rain shelters, golf shelters, picnic shelters.
Areas connected to or near light poles, towers and fences
Any location which is the highest point in the area