In the United States, more than 400 people are struck by lightning each year. To encourage lightning safety, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Parks and Recreation Department has installed lightning prediction systems at several park locations. The Parks and Recreation Department will utilize the lightning prediction systems as a weather-monitoring tool that will provide additional protection to employees, recreational program participants and other park patrons.
The following park locations have been equipped with the lightning prediction systems that will be operational ONLY during normal park hours and as warranted for special events:
Lightning Prediction System: How It Works
The lightning prediction systems have been installed to provide protection from lightning disasters. Lighting prediction senses and evaluates the shifts and changes in the electrostatic field that precede the occurrence of an actual lightning strike. Lightning is a violent act of nature and the City of Fort Lauderdale recognizes the threat of injuries or death from lightning strikes cannot be entirely eliminated. However, certain precautions can minimize the potential for lightning related injuries.
When the lightning warning system sounds (one 15-second horn blast), the outdoor facility must be cleared of all patrons as soon as possible. The City of Fort Lauderdale has trained staff to help clear the park’s fields. Also, all persons must seek and remain in buildings or vehicles. All persons must wait until the weather clears and the all-clear signal sounds (three five-second blasts) before patrons can resume play. Activities may only resume once the all-clear signal sounds.
It is recommended that when possible, park patrons and staff seek and remain in a sheltered area. If such shelter is unavailable, patrons are encouraged to get into their vehicles. Pavilions, sheds, picnic shelters, tents, covered porches, dugouts or trees should not be used for shelter, as they do NOT protect you from lightning. Individuals should keep away from metal objects such as fences, umbrellas, etc. This policy shall apply to programs and facilities operated by the City of Fort Lauderdale and its affiliated groups.
Lightning Safety Information
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has provided the following information on lightning safety.
Avoid the Lightning Threat
For more information on lightning safety, please visit the following websites:
For more information on the City of Fort Lauderdale’s lightning prediction systems, please call the Parks and Recreation Department at (954) 828-7275 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.