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Severe Weather Policy


Lightning & Severe Weather. Lightning and Severe Weather are genuine safety hazards that must be viewed seriously. Everyone should immediately seek shelter any time they believe lightning threatens them. Many of our ballparks are equipped with Lightning Dedection Systems. The Lightning Detection Systems will sound ONE 15 SECOND BLAST OF THE HORN which signals the suspension of activities. A strobe light will then flash and remain flashing until safe conditions return. Activities may resume after THREE 5 SECOND BLASTS OF THE HORN. If you feel threatened by lighting, you should seek shelter even if the horn does not sound. If directed by the League General Manager or League Board Members to “seek shelter” you must do so immediately and ensure your players and parents do the same regardless of whether or not the system has sounded.
You should seek shelter in your vehicles. DO NOT REMAIN AT THE BALL FIELDS OR STAY IN THE DUGOUTS OR BLEACHERS. 
Coaches, first and foremost, you are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of your players and parents in these situations. Lead by example and seek safety immediately, nothing is more important.
One estimate is that 24,000 people are killed by lightning strikes around the world each year and about 240,000 are injured. (Source: Ronald L. Holle. 10th International Lightning Detection Conference. Tucson, Arizona, USA. Retrieved on 2011-11-08.)

Coaches – failure to observe the Lightning and Severe Weather warnings, either from the Lightning Detection System or League General Manager or League Board Members will result in your team’s loss of scheduled practice time. Repeated failure to enforce this policy with your team will lead to suspension. We have ZERO TOLERANCE regarding this safety issue. This policy will be enforced by the League Board and the KC&BO Board. SAFETY FIRST!
A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people some years than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding. High winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages. Every year people are killed or seriously injured because they didn't hear or ignored severe thunderstorms warnings. The information in this section, combined with timely watches and warnings about severe weather, could save your life.
  • Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! Don't wait for rain. Lightning can strike out of a clear blue sky. Learn more about lightning safety.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and corded telephones. Cordless phones, cell phones and other wireless handheld devices are safe to use.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
KC&BO’s Severe Weather Policy is that we mandate stoppage of game play or practice and insist all players, parents, coaches, fans move to the safety of their vehicles. If a Lightning Detection sounds, we vacate the fields to the safety of our vehicles. Also, the League General Manager or any League Board Member may also provide instruction to vacate the fields in the event the Lightning Detection System malfunctions or in anticipation of a fast-moving storm. We constantly monitor multiple weather websites and also work directly with the city’s Emergency Management Staff. It is always SAFETY FIRST.


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