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Schools Taking Steps to Implement Lightning Safety

Every year school districts are threatened by severe weather including lightning, which puts students and faculty in jeopardy.

Without an appropriate weather alert system, students and faculty are playing a guessing game with Mother Nature. While many Bergen County schools are equipped with lightning detectors on their campuses, not all are – which is a main concern.

Rick Thompson, Lightning Protection Coordinator of Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida, is an advocate of keeping students and faculty safe.

“I always wondered why someone didn’t do something and then I realized I was someone,” said Thompson, a lightning strike victim on the NWS Lightning Safety Success Stories website.

Schools have to be aware of how to react in situations where lightning is present. It is essential that schools adopt a training program.

According to Thompson, training in school settings should include:

  • Lightning safety videos produced for all ages to understand and be part of a scheduled educational cirriculum.
  • Lightning safety and CPR certification courses should be mandatory for coaches and others in charge of outdoor events/activities.
  • Educational organizations should have a certified Lightning Safety Professional to implement and maintain a lightning safety program.

Many schools across the nation are taking steps to implement lightning safety initiatives.

Loudoun County Schools in Virginia and Broward County Schools in Florida are just two school systems in the country that are taking that next step.

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