Page 52 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 52
fast a storm is traveling. For example,
after a bolt of lightning is visualized,
counting the seconds until a clap of
related thunder is heard can give a
good estimate of a storm’s location.
Lightning travels 760 miles per hour
(0.2 miles per second), which is
approximately one mile every five
seconds. Therefore, a clap of thunder
approximately 30 seconds after a
visible lightning bolt means that the
thunderstorm is within six miles. If
faced with such electrical activity, seek
shelter immediately. The safety motto
of the National Lightning Safety Insti-
tute is, “If you can see it (lightning)
flee it; if you can hear it (thunder)
clear it.” Do not be fooled by sunshine
or blue skies. Lightning can travel
miles before striking the ground. In
addition, wait 30 minutes from the
last observed lightning or thunder
clap before resuming activities.

Other tips to consider when seek-
ing shelter from lightning:

Plan in advance for possible
suspensions and resumptions
of athletic events.
Evacuation policies and proce-
dures should be in place before
events take place.
Evacuation sites can include
substantial buildings, fully
enclosed metal vehicles with
windows rolled up, and seeking
cover on low ground, such as
in clumps of bushes.
Avoid towering lights, metal stands,
golf carts, flag poles, tall isolated
trees, water, and high ground.
Do not seek shelter under
partially enclosed buildings.
Most thunderstorms occur in the
early afternoon, so plan activities
around the least probable time
of an electrical storm event,
when possible.
Avoid wet ropes, as these are
excellent electrical conductors.
Avoid all metal objects, such
as fences and backpacks.

LIGHTNING SAFETY DURING ATHLETIC EVENTS 52
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