Know how the COVID-19 pandemic can affect disaster preparedness and recovery, and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

Lightning Information for Organized Sporting Events

A full open-air stadium with dark clouds overhead.

Lightning is the most frequent weather hazard affecting athletic events, such as baseball, football, soccer, skiing, and track and field. Lightning can strike and injure players and spectators in outdoor stadiums during a sporting event.

Lightning Safety Action Plans

Large outdoor stadiums should have action plans and procedures for lightning safety. These plans should include the following:

  • An evacuation plan for players and spectators
  • A person monitoring all weather forecasts and reports
  • A safe shelter

Evacuation plans should include specific evacuation directions for stadium personnel to communicate to fans. This will help avoid or reduce confusion. Evacuation procedures also should be posted on tickets, flyers, large screens, and posters to increase awareness.


If you are attending an organized sporting event at an outdoor stadium during a thunderstorm, you can minimize your risk of being struck by lightning by taking precautions:

  • Remain calm.
  • Listen for instructions from stadium personnel.
  • Move to the designated safe shelters, away from metal poles and the open field. These shelters should be determined before the event if a chance of a storm exists.
  • Wait for an all-clear signal, which should occur approximately 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.
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