A yellow sign saying: "When Thunder Roars Go Indoors"
For health and safety reasons, Amherst College has developed this Thunderstorm Protocol to reduce the risk for faculty, staff, students and visitors at Amherst College in the event of storms that produce both lightning and/or thunder.

This protocol shall be implemented whenever there is a report or threat of a storm, as determined by weather forecasts from anyone of the reputable weather services in our area, including, but not limited to The Weather Channel, NOAA Weather Radio or a local radio or television station.

1. A responsible person(s) for the College should be designated to monitor the potential for storms at least 24 hours prior to the outdoor events, including the use of an indoor swimming pool, specifically Pratt Pool.

  • If any designated person has reason to believe that their event may be compromised by a storm, they should contact any of the following departments for assistance and guidance.

2. Both the suspension and later continuation of the events shall be planned in advance.

  • Consider the best safe locations to relocate to, in advance of the storms. These locations include;
    • Amherst College buildings, both academic and residential
    • Motor vehicles that are fully enclosed with windows up

3. Do not seek shelter in locations that are not considered safe, such as:

    • Tents
    • Any outdoor area with metal fences, gates or poles
    • Motor vehicles such as golf carts
    • Fields, high grounds, under trees or in water

4. When you hear thunder, or see lightning move to a safe location, as referenced above. See point #2

  • If you hear the initial thunder, it typically means that the storm is 6 – 8 miles away.
    • The distance from lighting strike A to lightning strike B can also be 6 – 8 miles, so...
      • Immediately suspend all outdoor activities, and move to your designated safe location(s).
  • After the storm is over, and you no longer hear thunder or see lightning, wait 30 additional minutes before resuming outdoor activities, or reuse of the pools, both indoor and outdoor.

For additional information