Photo by Boyd Loving
Readers concerned for people who don’t know enough to come in out of the rain
The Ridgewood News article says it will allow coaches to receive emails of impending lightning.
Coaches (etc) can receive alerts for free via many things like weather bug.
You can also go to weather.gov and get frequently updated “pointcasts” specific to any zip code. The information is usually updated very often when there are weather events affecting the area you select to monitor.
You can also look up in the sky and get people off fields or close a pool based on common sense observations.
Of course with those approaches you don’t get rotating lights and horns though.
Don’t we have a big staff of police, emergency services people, fire fighters and other officials who can assist with closing fields etc. if no one else will when there’s danger from impending storms?
And what about the unintended consequences?
What happens after you spend a pile of money for such a system and it malfunctions? People will say “well, I relied on the system and it failed” and then sue.
In Summit NJ, though they decided to seek bids for such a system, their own muni attorney advised that municipal liability could result from implementing it
Relying on your brain and common sense skills seems a better idea and more cost-effective, perhaps augmented by the free warnings you can get as noted above.
I suppose next someone will want taxpayers to provide smart phones and plans for them to all coaches and other officials so they can receive those emails at taxpayer expense.
More info at the link below from the mfr of one such system– which says it’s a lightning PREDICTION system and not just a DETECTION system.
Wonder which type they want for here– detection or prediction?
Or which one they’ve already bought components for with tax dollars?
Read the FAQs at the mfrs. web site too, and to hear what the thing sounds like, there’s a recording in the “downloads” section (on the “products” page) there too.
Lastly, from reading the owner manuals for that system from its mfr, a certain amount of maintenance is required especially for the sensors both in cleaning and also moisture removal – the manuals seem to say without that, it won’t work right.
Things like spider webs, nearby trees and several others (per this partic. system’s manual) will also adversely affect its operation and claimed capabilities.
The mfrs documentation also cautions that although their system is designed to provide reliable lightning prediction, if you ever feel uncomfortable with incoming weather and the system has not issued a “red alert” you should not wait. It advises to either sound the horns manually or issue a warning to cease activities in your area.
That kinda says a lot too .. doesn’t it?