LIGHTNING SAFETY POLICY
Note: On October 7, 2014, the Field of Dreams complex was equipped with a lightning detector system. Read on for full details.
Parents have the ultimate responsibility for the safety of their children. You must always defer to the parents’ judgment if they choose to remove their children from an outdoor activity.
No lightning safety policies can guarantee total safety, but the following steps can help avoid lightning incidents.
Above all, use your common sense and err on the side of safety. If there is any possibility of lightning, immediately suspend outdoor activities until the threat has passed.
This is an association of volunteers. However, coaches should check the weather and local radar before every practice, game, and other outdoor activity. If there are thunderstorms in the area, the coaches and the officials should consider postponing the activity.
If you see dark clouds and the winds increase in intensity, parents and coaches should be on alert for the potential for a threat of lightning.
There is a threat of lightning if:
- You can see lightning.
- You can hear thunder.
- A lightning detector on the field goes off. (Most of the other fields that we play on do not have lightning detectors.)
There are now “lightning detector” apps such as “Spark”, by Weatherbug. However, it is unclear how effective they are. You should not rely solely upon them, but rather should use them as additional sources of information. If the app indicates there is lightning within 15 miles of the outdoor activity, you should consider that to be a threat of lightning.
If there is a threat of lightning:
- Immediately stop all activities.
- Get everyone off the fields and out of the dugouts. Instruct everybody to get to a safe place. The only safe place at the Field of Dreams is your own hard topped vehicle.
- Leave all equipment and related items on the fields.
- Avoid sheds, small or open shelters, dugouts, bleachers, or grandstands.
- Substantial, sturdy buildings provide the best protection. If you go inside, stay away from the windows, corded telephones, wiring, and plumbing.
- If you cannot get into a sturdy building, the next safest place is probably a hard-topped metal vehicle with closed windows. Try not to touch the metal or the windows.
In all cases you must stop all activities and everyone must seek shelter if any of the following occur:
1. The Thor Guard Lightning system goes off
2. You can hear thunder
3. Using a lightning detector app such and Weather Bug, lightning is shown within 15 miles of the fields.
4. You can see lightning and do not have access to a lightning detector app to determine the distance.
Do not resume the event until at least 30 minutes have passed since the last visible lightning or sound or thunder. Generally, this means you should call the game or practice and reschedule for a later time.
When the system detects a lightning threat, the horn blasts for 15 seconds and the amber strobe light flashes. Everyone must leave the fields and dugouts, and seek safe shelter. At the Field of Dreams, the only safe shelter is in a hard topped vehicle with the windows closed.
When the system determines the threat has passed, the horn will blast 3 times, for five seconds each time, and the strobe light will turn off. You may return to the field, so long as there are no signs of lightning or thunder.
Other fields with lightning detectors include Lake Travis High School, Lake Travis Middle School, and Hudson Bend Middle School, Drysdale Baseball field.