Student Wellness Services

Lightning Safety Policy

SE Intramural Field Lightning Safety Policy
The following policy is implemented to insure the safety of students, staff, and the public during times of lightning. It applies to all out-of-doors intramural field activities.

SE Intramural Lightning Guidelines:
Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SE) athletics employs the WEATHER SENTRY lightning prediction and warning system as an aid in predicting severe weather situations. It is important that all facility users take appropriate precautions when the system indicates impending severe weather.

1. When the WEATHER SENTRY System Activates:
The system will send a signal to the athletic trainer staff telephones when there is a threat of lightning in the vicinity. When this warning is received, a member of the intramural staff will come to the area to clear the field or send a campus police officer to act on their behalf. All personnel (players, coaches, spectators and officials) must evacuate the field and seek safe shelter. SE Campus Police officers have the authority to clear the field and will be acting as a representative of the Wellness Center professional staff in doing so. Only SE Wellness Center professional staff or their designee can grant return to play.

2. If there is lightning, but the WEATHER SENTRY system does not activate – use the “30-30 Rule”:
Thirty (30) second flash-to-bang – count the number of seconds from the time you see the lightning (flash) until you hear the thunder (bang). If this number is 30 or less, all personnel must evacuate the field and seek safe shelter. Once you have evacuated the field, there should be a 30 minute wait from the last lightning flash or thunderclap until resuming play.

3. Contest officials may use their discretion:
Even if the WEATHER SENTRY system does not activate and there are more than 30 seconds from flash-to-bang, once play has begun, the contest official has the authority to suspend play based upon his/her determination of the safety of the participants. In such situations, team officials should meet with the game officials to determine the length of the suspension and resumption of the contest.

4. Safe Shelter:
The intramural field site on North 1st, next to the SE softball field has no available buildings for safe shelter. It is therefore requested that a suitable shelter be identified by your organization prior to use of our facilities. In an emergency situation where visitors must take immediate shelter, a secondary choice is a fully enclosed vehicle with a metal roof such as a bus or car. If no safe structure or vehicle is available, find a thick grove of small trees surrounded by larger trees or a dry ditch. Assume a crouch position on the balls of your feet, minimizing contact with the ground. Do not take refuge under bleachers or near fences, light poles, or individual trees.

5. Sample Announcement for Severe Weather:
“Ladies and Gentlemen: We are requesting your assistance in seeking safe shelter due to current weather conditions. You are encouraged to move inside a building or to your cars. When it is safe to continue, an announcement will be made. The teams will warm up and play will then continue. Thank you for your cooperation.”