SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- When there is lightning in the area, the fields and the stands at high school sporting events are some of the worst places to be. Public Schools in Springfield, Cassville, Nixa, Greenwood and Catholic understand the importance of having a weather preparedness plan, especially when it comes to lightning.
These schools are partnered up with Mercy Hospitals, and together have a set of procedures for when lightning is in the area.
"Very rarely does a storm just pop up out of nowhere." Says Jim Rayor, the Administrative Director for Sports Management.
Rayor works in sports medicine at Mercy and helps train those local schools what to do when lightning is nearby.
"So each year we do an emergency action plan... and adverse weather condition plan... we implement it... we practice it... then we communicate that plan." Rayor explains.
Rayor and the schools get warnings on their phone. and when lightning is within 10 miles, hey get people into their cars or in a building.
Rayor says, "we'll use electronic devices to help monitor for real time data... the sports medicine professionals are on the sideline watching monitoring the field of play... what's happening in the sky."
Lightning can strike anywhere, and not always the tallest object. If you absolutely can't get to a building or car, stay away from trees, water and metal.. and if you are in a group - spread out to avoid the current traveling between people.
During the games, Rayor says the communicate with the fans as well using the PA systems. They direct fans of where to go if severe weather or lightning is nearby.
You can receive lightning notifications as well by using your KY3 weather app. All you do is go to settings, click on weather notification types, and toggle on lightning notifications.