lightning storm over football field

Lightning and Sporting Events: 5 Ways to Prepare

When it comes to outdoor event planning, it is important to members of the planning team that every detail goes according to plan. There are food tents to be assembled, food suppliers to be contracted, lawns to be mowed, pathways to be cleared, and retail displays to be assembled. While much effort goes into this set-up process, it is equally important to be prepared for the event of inclement weather.

While minor rain and wind are par for the course, it is also necessary to prepare for more severe weather emergencies like lightning storms. This can involve many tactics, which include lessening metal usage in temporary structures or downloading a live lightning tracker.

Utilize PVC Instead of Metal

At your next major sporting event or festival, consider using PVC piping for the construction of temporary structures rather than metal. Tenting around food suppliers, for example, can be fashioned around a PVC frame. Additionally, food suppliers and retailers can use plastic signs instead of metal ones for their outside displays. Make sure that plastic tables and chairs are used instead of metal ones. Everything from small stages to umbrellas can be fashioned from plastic as it is less likely to attract the path of lightning striking. This is important in the advent that lightning should strike during your sporting event.

Use Sandbags

Inclement weather often arises with little warning. This is why it is important to outfit all outdoor structures with sandbags. The bottoms of tented structures should be cushioned with multiple sandbags so that if severe winds strike in conjunction with the lightning, the structures maintain their integrity. Extra sandbags can also be kept on hand in the case of flooding to block doorways from water.

Develop an Evacuation Plan

It is important to develop an evacuation plan in the case of lightning striking. The evacuation plan should be drafted up on paper well in advance of the event. This document should include a map of the event site and careful details of the exact evacuation route.

Delegate an Individual Responsible for Weather Monitoring

There should be at least one employee monitoring the local weather for alerts in the area. This can be done with careful observation of enabled weather alerts on the individual’s smartphone via a lightning warning app. These apps can alert you as to where there are currently risks for lightning storms. Some options, such as our Pocket Perry system, have a real time lightning tracker.

An alert app or live lightning tracker acts as the perfect outdoor warning system. Real time lightning detector tools are essential in outdoor event planning. Each employee working the event should have their cell phone turned on with a loud ringtone should the organizers need to reach them with timely weather news.

Take Immediate Action When Needed

The safety team at your sports event should take action immediately if a weather emergency occurs. They should plan a course of action for the potentiality of lightning striking during the event.

Stay Safe During Severe Weather

If you would like more weather preparation help or are interested in a lightning alert app, don’t hesitate to contact Perry Weather today!


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