State Weather Policies > 2024/2025 Iowa Weather Policies

Iowa State Weather Policies for IHSAA Schools (2024/2025)

Heat Stress Activity Recommendations

What are the IHSAA Heat Stress Activity Guidelines for 2024/2025?

WBGT Recommended Activity Guidelines

WBGT Activity Guidelines

The IHSAA recently approved the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) as the recommended measurement for measuring acceptable heat/humidity levels for practices and contests for the 2024-2025 school year. The IHSAA has mandated several new guidelines as part of their policy changes:

  • A scientifically-approved instrument that measures the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature must be utilized.
  • Measurements should be taken at the same spot practice/game will take place.
  • WBGT should be measured every 30 minutes (where the activity is being held).
  • Follow the lowest category instructions based on the WBGT reading at the start of the practice. If the WBGT increases, adjust activities accordingly.
  • Schools must have an exertional heat illness emergency action plan.
  • At-risk athletes should always be monitored closely.
Iowa WBGT Zones and Heat Acclimatization

Iowa WBGT Zones

Iowa is primarily classified as a Category 2 WBGT zone. Zones with higher temperatures acclimatize faster compared to the cooler zones.

  • Coaches must provide unlimited access to water throughout practice. Rest breaks should focus on rehydration and rest only, with no activity.
  • Outdoor fall sports have a five-day warm-up and acclimatization period. Practices will be shorter with limited gear for the first few days.
  • Intensity and duration of exercise should be gradually increased over a period of 7-14 days.

How Can Perry Weather Help?

WBGT Monitoring System

Precise on-site WBGT monitoring

For athletic trainers and directors prioritizing athlete safety, Perry Weather offers precise on-site wet bulb globe temperature monitoring.

 

Guide your coaches and staff in taking the right actions with hyper-local WBGT monitoring and alerts tailored to your heat stress policies.

  • Accurate WBGT offers a more precise understanding of real-world conditions than heat index, ensuring safety and informed decision-making for all outdoor activities.
  • Automatic WBGT measurements are instantly recorded and stored, ensuring you stay compliant without the tediousness and potential errors of traditional manual methods.
  • We translate data into practical steps based on heat stress policies and local regulations – from hydration reminders to activity adjustments, we ensure safety first.
Automated Mobile Alerts

Automated heat stress policy based alerts

Automatic instructive alerts and warnings are triggered based on your policies, keeping you compliant and confident in your decision-making so everyone on your staff knows what to do when WBGT levels are high.

  • Automated Warnings: Push notifications and text message alerts with automatic action instructions once WBGT threshold is breached
  • Custom Quiet Times: Pause notifications during weekends or nighttime, ensuring disturbance-free periods for when practices and games aren’t taking place
  • Configurable Settings: Configure specific user and warnings settings that fit your organization’s needs
Proactive Heat Stress Updates

Predictive Heat Stress Warnings

Get heat and WBGT risk updates based on your policies, so you’re not caught by surprise and are able to adjust outdoor activities accordingly.

  • Set customized alerts to be notified when WBGT levels reach critical thresholds, ensuring timely action to protect athletes from heat-related illnesses.
  • Our team stays up-to-date on evolving state regulations to help schools and athletic trainers implement heat stress guidelines effectively.

Heat Stress & WBGT FAQs

What is Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT)?

The WBGT is a comprehensive measure that combines air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat, and air movement to assess heat stress conditions. Read more about WBGT here.

What is the difference between the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature and the Heat Index?

Wet bulb globe temperature in a nutshell is a more in-depth heat stress measurement taking into account more of the environment (Direct sunlight, water vapor capacity, cloud coverage, etc.). Read more about the differences between WBGT and the heat index here.

How does WBGT impact athletes?

Monitoring WBGT is essential for protecting athletes’ health and safety during outdoor practices, games, and events.

A higher WBGT reading leads to a greater risk of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and muscle cramps.

 

 

What is Heat Acclimatization?

Heat acclimatization is your body’s way of adapting to hot environments.

By gradually increasing your workload or exposure time in hot conditions over 1-2 weeks, you can significantly improve your heat tolerance.

This reduces the risk of heat stress and allows you to perform better in hot weather.

What is a Heat Illness?

There are two main ways heat illness can strike:
1. Classic Heat Illness: This is caused by your environment’s impact on your body’s ability to cool down. Think high temperatures, humidity, direct sun, and no breeze.
2. Exertional Heat Illness (EHI): This one focuses on your own internal heat production. It can happen even in mild weather if you push yourself too hard.

What is the science behind WBGT?

Wet bulb globe temperature involves measuring three temperatures: dry bulb, wet bulb, and globe. Read more here.

What is the difference between Heat Stress and Heat Illness?

Imagine heat stress as a warning light on your body’s dashboard. If heat stress isn’t addressed, it can progress to heat illness. This is a medical emergency where the body can no longer cool itself down effectively. It can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Read more here.

How can I measure the WBGT? What is the best way to measure the wet bulb globe temperature?

To measure WBGT, use a scientifically approved WBGT meter. The best way to measure it is by using Perry Weather’s advanced weather monitoring platform.

Lightning Policy Guidelines

Lightning Recommendations

The National Weather Service (NWS) has implemented a voluntary recognition program to help large outdoor venues, including those on university campuses, better protect staff and patrons from the dangers of lightning:

  • When lightning is seen or thunder is heard outdoor activity should be stopped and everyone should be directed to shelter.
  • Do not resume activities until approximately 30 minutes have passed since the last thunder was heard.
  • No place outside is safe if lightning is in the vicinity. If a substantial building is not available, enclosed motor vehicles can provide shelter as long as patrons do not touch the metal framework during the thunderstorm.
  • An evacuation of the facility will begin if it appears the thunderstorm is moving toward the venue.
  • All patrons are directed to the nearest lightning-safe shelter.
  • The weather watcher will remain on duty until post-event operations come to an end.

How Can Perry Weather Help?

Lightning Alerts & Safety

Instantly Tailor Alerts to Your Lightning Safety Policies

Perry Weather’s lightning detection and alerts system gives you clear, actionable instructions aligned with your lightning safety policies.

  • We’ll notify you as soon as lightning is detected with automated alerts. We guide you through immediate actions, keeping your athletes safe and practices on track.
  • Automatic alerts and real-time data for informed decision-making during critical weather events.
Lightning Countdown Timer

Know When It’s Safe to Resume Activities

Know exactly when it’s safe to step out after a lightning strike with Perry Weather’s lightning countdown timers.

  • When a lightning strike is detected nearby, Perry Weather initiates a countdown until given the all-clear and resuming outdoor activities.
  • The timer resets with each subsequent strike, ensuring adherence to lightning safety protocols before resuming activities
  • Stay a step ahead with advanced radar and predictive lightning risk management for confident event planning and adaptive scheduling.
Integrated Outdoor Warnings and Siren

Outdoor Warning System

Get custom PA alerts and audible alarms with our lightning warning system.

  • Instantly broadcast alerts and safety messages automatically across your campus – no matter the weather conditions.
  • Strobe lights, loud alarms, and text-to-speech make sure you won’t miss lightning alerts.
  • It works even during power outages, ensuring continuous safety without needing a direct power source.

Lightning FAQs

What do I do if lightning strikes?

  • Activate local Emergency Management Service.
  • If necessary, carefully move the victim to a safer location.
  • Assess airway, breathing, and circulation; initiate CPR if needed.
  • Check for and treat hypothermia, shock, fractures, and burns.

What do I NOT do if lightning strikes?

  • Do not shower, bathe, or use landline phones inside a safe shelter (cell phones are OK).
  • Avoid being the highest point in an open field, or near the tallest object.
  • Stay away from any open water.
  • Do not seek shelter under or near trees, flagpoles, or light poles.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground.

What is a Safe Shelter?

A safe shelter is any frequently inhabited building with four solid walls (not a dugout), electrical and telephone wiring, and plumbing, which aid in grounding the structure.

Where Do I Go When Lightning Approaches?

  • Designate a safe shelter for each venue.
  • All individuals have the right to leave an athletic site to seek a safe structure if they feel in danger of impending lightning.
  • As a secondary option, a fully enclosed vehicle with a metal roof and completely closed windows provides safety from lightning.
  • Do not touch any part of the vehicle’s metal framework during a thunderstorm.

Can a player who has been struck by lightning be safely touched by others?

Yes. Lightning victims do not carry a residual electrical charge. However, prioritize checking for injuries and call emergency services immediately.

Who is responsible for enforcing lightning safety protocols during practices or games?

Responsibilities may vary, but typically coaches, athletic trainers, and officials share the responsibility for monitoring weather conditions and enforcing safety procedures.

What if there are no readily available shelters nearby?

Some policies allow for designated “safe havens” under sturdy structures like bleachers (away from metal supports) or inside enclosed vehicles with the windows rolled up. However, this is a last resort.

Here’s Why Schools Use Perry Weather to Comply With Weather Policies

Watch how schools across the country are using Perry Weather to comply with state weather policies and keep their campuses safe.

Learn More About Crafting Weather Policies

Customer Stories

How Christian County Public Schools Uses Perry Weather for District-Wide Weather Decisions

Christian County Public Schools, a large district in Western Kentucky, encompasses 15 schools ranging from elementary to high school. Superintendent Chris Bentzel likens managing this district, with its nearly 8,000 students and 1,200 employees, to running a large city. The district’s operations include diverse components such as athletics, transportation, and scheduling, all of which can be affected by weather conditions.
Customer Stories

How Loyola High School Automates CIF Heat Stress Policy Compliance

Tim Moscicki, Loyola High School’s Head Athletic Trainer, needed an efficient solution to comply with new California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) weather monitoring guidelines. Perry Weather’s system takes the guesswork out of weather decisions. It automates Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) monitoring, eliminating manual calibration and challenges with handheld devices.

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