Preparing for lightning at sporting events

By  | 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Over the next couple of months we'll start to see these bleachers and all of the fields out here start filling up. As a result, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board needs to start preparing for thunderstorms, and the lightning that comes along with them.

Joe Perkins, father of 3 kids who play soccer, said, "There's a part of you that thinks, "Maybe we'll get this game in and for them because they want to play," and then there's another part of you that as a parent you're just scared to death and you're like, "Oh man, I hope this thing doesn't come in faster than what they think it's going to."

One of those safety measure that the park board takes is using a lightning detector that can detect lightning from up to 40 miles away.

Mark Nelson, community athletics administrator, for Springfield-Green County Park board said, "Anytime there's a chance for inclement weather, the conflict will have that on them. Basically it also gives them assurance to the people who are playing and the parents especially because they have their kids out there. It gives them some sort of assurance that we're on top of it, we're paying attention to the weather situation, we're not going to let it get too close and take the chance of someone getting hurt."

And the message to everyone as we head into the Spring severe weather season is this:

"Always make sure that you're prepared," Perkins said.

"I think that message gets delivered all the time, but just make sure that you're prepared. Make sure that you're making sure you have umbrellas, and blankets and things like that, but also make sure you're paying attention to the forecast because with us having three kids, you scramble out the door sometimes so, it's just as long as you're able to take a look at it, prepare, know what you're getting yourself into, then that makes a lot of difference," Perkins said.

The Park Board does have a strict list of guidelines, including when lightning hits within that 3-8 mile range that it's time to cease play. One thing remains true though that no matter where you are, remember that saying: "When thunder roars, go indoors."

Read the original version of this article at