Customer Stories > Marietta City Schools

How Marietta City Schools Simplifies WBGT and Severe Weather Monitoring

  • Jeff Hopp
    Head Athletic Trainer

“Perry Weather is a huge benefit. It takes care of all of our WBGT and severe weather monitoring for us. It’s one less thing we have to worry about, and one more thing to make our job easier.”
Jeff Hopp
Head Athletic Trainer

Effortless Compliance with GHSA Heat Stress Policies

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) uses Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) to gauge exertional heat stress levels. Based on these readings, coaches and trainers may need to adjust practices, such as removing pads or scheduling more frequent water breaks. This process can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

By integrating Perry Weather, Marietta High School has automated this process. GHSA exertional heat stress policies are seamlessly embedded into their Perry Weather account. This integration allows real-time readings from their weather station installed on the press box to trigger automated messages. These messages provide clear and actionable guidance on necessary practice modifications, hydration breaks, and equipment adjustments. As a result, the athletic staff at Marietta High School can focus more on coaching and caring for their athletes, with less time spent on manual monitoring and decision-making. Coaches and athletic trainers receive concise instructions via text messages and mobile app notifications, ensuring they are always informed and prepared.

Saying Goodbye to Unreliable Handheld Weather Devices

Before adopting Perry Weather, Marietta High School relied on Kestrel handheld weather devices. These devices often provided inconsistent and inaccurate data, making it difficult for the athletic staff to make confident decisions. Some of the issues with Kestrel handheld devices included:

  • Inaccurate Readings: Kestrel devices frequently recorded higher than actual WBGT, leading to unnecessary practice alterations or cancellations.
  • Lack of Warning Components: Without automated warnings based on the integrated GHSA heat stress policy, trainers had to manually go around campus to inform coaches of necessary alterations. This process was cumbersome and resulted in poor communication.
  • Frequent Calibration: Kestrel units required frequent calibration and had to be set up 30 minutes before each practice. This added another layer of complexity for trainers and was prone to human error.
  • Manual Data Logging: Kestrel devices lacked the ability to automatically log WBGT values, requiring the user to manually record readings on paper.

Switching to Perry Weather automated this entire process, providing real-time readings from their weather station installed on the press box, triggering automated messages to coaches and trainers via text message and mobile push notifications. These messages offer clear and actionable guidance on necessary practice modifications, hydration breaks, and equipment adjustments.

Additionally, Perry Weather automatically logs WBGT values every 15 minutes, which can be accessed via the Perry Weather dashboard. This ensures accurate and reliable data management, allowing the athletic staff to focus more on coaching and less on manual monitoring.

Lightning Delays Managed with Ease

Weather in Georgia can change rapidly, with storms approaching quickly. Determining the proximity of lightning has always been a challenge. Marietta High School follows a rule that requires taking shelter for 30 minutes after lightning strikes within 10 miles. Before Perry Weather, this process was a guessing game, often relying on the “flash to bang” theory—counting the time between seeing lightning and hearing thunder.

With Perry Weather, which utilizes the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), Marietta now has a reliable lightning detection and warning system to pinpoint exactly how far lightning strikes are from their campus. Once a strike is detected, coaches and trainers are automatically notified via text message and push notifications.

Additionally, an outdoor warning system installed on their practice fields blares an audible siren followed by a spoken alert, instructing everyone to seek shelter until it’s safe to resume practice. Perry Weather also features a lightning countdown timer within the mobile app, allowing coaches and athletic trainers to monitor how long they must wait before activities can safely resume. This timer resets to 30 minutes whenever another strike is detected within the 10-mile radius.

When the countdown timer reaches zero, an all-clear message is sent to coaches and staff, accompanied by an audible message over the outdoor warning system sirens, informing everyone that it’s safe to resume practices or activities.

By integrating Perry Weather, Marietta High School has significantly improved their ability to manage lightning delays, ensuring the safety of their athletes and staff with precise, automated notifications and alerts.

One Less Thing to Worry About, One More Thing to Make Jeff’s Job Easier

With Perry Weather, Marietta High School has seamless and automated compliance with GHSA heat stress policies, ensuring the safety of their student athletes and maximizing practice time through accurate readings. Lightning detection has become effortless, with streamlined sheltering procedures after strikes. For athletic trainers like Jeff, Perry Weather has taken the burden of weather monitoring off their shoulders, allowing them to focus on keeping athletes safe and healthy.

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