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Palma Ceia Little League

Lightning Policy

PCLL Lightning Policy, Procedures, and Prediction System

Summary of how the Lightning Prediction System works: 

- The system detects electricity in the air and in the ground.  (Cloud to ground lightning)
- The strobe and siren will sound 10-15 minutes before a potential strike within the area (approximately 3 - 5 miles). 
- All activities at the park cease and everyone must seek shelter while the strobe is activated. 
- The only safe location at the park is INSIDE of the Clubhouse or inside of your car.  
- The overhang at the clubhouse and the hitting facility are NOT safe locations. 
- The system continues to detect/predict lightning while the strobe is activated.  
- When the system detects that the danger has passed, the system will sound all clear (long siren and the strobe goes out).  
- There is NOT a predetermined amount of time that indicates it is safe to resume activity. 
- The strobe will turn off and the system will signal all clear via 3 sound blasts. 

Lightning Safety 
The keys to lightning safety are education and prevention. Education begins with learning appropriate lightning safety tips. Prevention of lightning injuries or casualties should begin before any event. PCLL’s lightning system is a lightning predictor, not a detector. It uses atmospheric conditions to predict lightning. Our system predicts cloud-to-ground lightning with the horn sounding when it is predicted within 3-5 miles. An all clear (3 loud blasts) sounds when the conditions are clear. *There is no time frame for the all clear.

The areas under the hitting facility and the clubhouse are not considered lightning free zones (anything that has open sides is not safe), but they are preferable to being exposed in dangerous conditions. The inside of the clubhouse is the only officially lightning safe area. All officials and volunteers are encouraged to exercise common sense and move as quickly as possible to their cars once the lighting detection system is engaged. 

Monitor Weather Conditions 
It is recommended that weather reports are checked each day before any practice/game. The National Weather Service (NWS) issues severe weather and/or thunderstorm watches and/or warnings. A “watch” means conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop in a particular area. A “warning” means the NWS has reported severe weather in an area and for anyone in that area to take the necessary precautions. All volunteers should be aware of the signs of thunderstorms developing nearby. Thunderstorms can grow from towering, “fluffy” cumulus clouds to lightning producers in as little as 30 minutes. Lightning and thunder activity in the local area are the “alarms” for managers, coaches, or umpires to begin monitoring thunderstorm activity, such as the direction of storm travel and distance to the lightning flashes. 
Evacuation Criteria 
The flashbang time can be utilized to determine how far the storm is away from the facility. To use the flashbang time, count the seconds from the time lightning is sighted to when the clap of thunder is heard. Divide this number by 5 to obtain how far away, in miles, the lightning is occurring. Example: 30 sec. count / 5 = 6 mile distance.
A flashbang time of 30 seconds or less dictates the immediate suspension of activities and the evacuation of all players, volunteers, and spectators to a safe area. Once it has been decided to stop a game/practice, it is strongly recommended that all persons involved wait at least 20 minutes after the last clap of thunder is heard before resuming the activity. It is important to note that blue skies and no rain are not protection from lightning. Lightning can strike from a distance as far as 10 miles away!
All managers, coaches, and officials need to abide by this to ensure the safety of all players, coaches, managers, spectators, and all others who may be present. 
The safest area to take shelter in the event of lightning is in a fully enclosed automobile with the windows up. As a last resort, head for the lowest ground area such as ditches or the bottom of a hill and assume a crouched position to minimize body area. Do not lie flat. Unsafe areas include open fields, metal bleachers, fences, umbrellas, flagpoles, light poles, tall trees, and pools of standing water. Avoid using handheld electronic equipment.
Emergency Action Plan 
In the event that a person is struck by lightning, the following protocol is advised: Any person struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge, there is no danger presented if the person is touched. Assess the scene to ensure the safety of personnel who will be entering the area. The victim may need to be moved to a safe area before initiating first aid procedures. Activate Emergency Medical Services and provide the necessary first aid which could potentially include CPR, AED use, and/or rescue breathing. There is a defibrillator in the clubhouse.  
Returning to the field
In the event of the lighting system sounding, players and coaches may return to the field when the all clear signal has sounded and the flashing light from the PCLL Lightning Prediction System has turned off.

In the event that the fields are cleared because of umpire or BMOD judgment, it is strongly recommended that all persons involved wait at least 20 minutes after the last clap of thunder is heard before resuming the activity.
In the event of any suspension of play, no game shall continue without the all clear being given by the BMOD or another PCLL Board Member.

Palma Ceia Little League

4501 S Himes Ave 
Tampa, Florida 33611
Email : [email protected]
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