Proactive Awareness of a Lightning Threat

Lightning is a deadly hazard and can strike even if rain is not falling.

It is imperative that all staff are aware of a lightning threat, as well as know appropriate locations for safe refuge.

Staff should be aware of how long it takes to end an activity, secure equipment and props, and have everyone reach safe refuge.

Safe refuge is a sturdy, fully enclosed building. A tour bus and vehicles are also safe, and buses can be parked adjacent to rehearsal space in advance if lightning is possible. (Examples of locations that DO NOT meet safe refuge criteria include food or souvenir trailers, under metal bleachers, ball field dugouts/batting cages, covered bench areas, storage sheds, or under a canopy, tent or awning.)

Lightning Monitoring/Detection

Designate a staff person to monitor lightning when thunderstorms are forecast. This person will have the authority to end outdoor activities immediately and move everyone to shelter without delay.

Smart phone apps (use more than one to ensure redundancy) can be utilized to monitor lightning. (WeatherBug Elite, My Lightning Tracker Pro, RadarScope Pro, etc.)

If you are not monitoring lightning data, head indoors at the first flash of lightning or clap of thunder, no matter how far away. Lightning can be seen at great distances at night, therefore use of lightning location data will allow for more accurate decision making.

Safe Lightning Distance

Plan for everyone to be INSIDE safe refuge by the time lightning reaches 8 miles from your location. There may be times when first lightning strike occurs within 8 miles. In these instances, everyone should move quickly to safe refuge.

Remain in safe refuge until lightning is beyond 8 miles, is moving away from your location, and no additional lightning is moving towards you. Allow 30 minutes to elapse with no lightning within 8 miles before resuming outdoor activities.

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