Prepare for Severe Weather While Away from Home

Updated: 05/05/2014 10:44 PM
Created: 05/05/2014 2:06 PM

The Maple Grove High School softball team knows a thing or two about preparation. They're ready to play ball, but are they ready for severe weather?

We asked some of the players what they'd do if they were in the middle of a game and lightning was around.

Sarah Michal said, "we usually have a plan that we just stay in the dugout."

Amy Zook told us, "the other team is playing through that weather also, so I mean, if they're fighting through it, we've got to fight through it."

"That's the best time to play! It's fun," Kea Anderson added.

Three strikes and you're out - Michal, Zook and Anderson are all wrong.

First thing's first: if there's lighting, the safest place is inside a building or back on the bus.

"You dont' want to go in there, as weird as it sounds," 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS meteorologist Ken Barlow told the team while pointing at their dugout, "because being open like that makes you susceptible to getting a lightning strike."

For parents, hopping into a car is a good option.

"It's not because the tires are rubber," Barlow told the team. "A lot of people think that. It's because the mental frame around you will absorb the lightning and spread it out, it won't hit you."

If there's a tornado, that's a different story. Your best option is getting inside a building.

"If not," Barlow said, "you don't want to get into a vehicle. Believe it or not, the safest place in that case is one of those low gullies that I talked about. It sounds weird and it sounds contradictory to what you might think, but the best place to be is laying down in a ditch."

Keep in mind, that's a worst-case scenario, but we're Minnesotans, we plan for everything.

A couple of other severe weather resources that might be helpful include the National Weather Service's tips on lightning safety, and U.S. Youth Soccer's lightning statistics.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

64° | 40°
  • Feels like: 48° F
  • Wind: 0mph
  • Humidity: 39%
  • Mon Mostly sunny
    68° | 46°
  • Tue Partly cloudy
    68° | 47°
  • Wed Abundant sunshine
    70° | 50°
  • Thu Mainly sunny
    73° | 54°