Posts Tagged: weather

Thunder & Lightning

February 05, 2013

One strike and you’re out!

David Munro
Director of Athletics
University of New Brunswick
Saint John Campus (UNBSJ)

Athletics Directors can count on the fact that every day presents different and unique challenges in the area of Risk Management. And so it was on this particular day. Nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing pressing was the time frame to get all the games played without delay as visiting teams were travelling 4-5 hrs and not staying overnight.

The varsity soccer teams were scheduled to play at 2:00 PM (women) and 4:00 PM (men) with the football club set for a 6:00 PM start. It was sunny and quite warm for a fall day. The women’s game was therefore very pleasant and the conditions were perfect. Just the kind of scenario we all hoped for when the day began. Even the opposing team was happy with the venue, the changing rooms, the field and the officials.

The women’s game ended on time and the men’s game started at 4:00 PM as scheduled. The temperature was still warm enough that people hadn’t really notice that the clear blue sky was now cloud-covered. Still, all in all, it was nice. As the game moved into the second half, dark, ominous clouds had gathered up a storehouse full of rain waiting to be unleashed just as the weather forecast had predicted. We were hoping that the men’s game would finish before the downpour.

None of us can control the weather, even if we sometimes think we can do so by “wishing” the sun to be present for the entirety of the event. The soccer game would have continued during the rain, as it was being played on an artificial turf field. However, a much bigger issue emerged, one that we weren’t completely ready for. It was supposed to rain but that was going to be the extent of it.
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Is Your Organization Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

November 21, 2011

Katharine M. Nohr, JD
Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC

Japan is in the process of recovering from a horrendous 9.0 magnitude earthquake and a deadly tsunami. The west coast of the United States and Hawaii also sustained millions of dollars of damages because of the tsunami generated from the Japan earthquake, but such damage was far less than feared. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, mud slides, and fires are some of the natural disasters that occur in the world every year, costing lives, destroying property and ending viable businesses. Some of those businesses are sport and recreation facilities, Universities, colleges, and schools. Just as families have to prepare themselves in the event of disaster, so should those in the business of sport and recreation.

Does your organization have an up to date, detailed and practiced disaster plan? Is the plan designed to protect people, property and business continuity? Most likely, your organization has somewhat of a disaster plan, but it is missing elements and staff and volunteers may not be aware of its details. With recent catastrophic disasters in mind, it is a good time to establish a committee and employ a risk management consultant to update the plan.

Three objectives should be met in considering your organizations’ disaster plan:

  1. Protect People
  2. Protect Property
  3. Protect Business Continuity

The following are some of the considerations for meeting such goals.

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It’s Time to do a Flood Insurance Policy Check Up

July 14, 2011

Katharine M. Nohr, Esq.
Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC

Does your organization have flood insurance? If so, are the policy limits high enough to repair your damaged facility and replace damaged equipment? It seems that every time I turn on the news there is a story about flooding somewhere in the world. Those stories combined with the fact that I live on a koi pond, blocks from the ocean and on an island where hurricanes and tsunamis are a constant threat, led me to e-mail my insurance agent inquiring about the possibility of my purchasing flood insurance (I already had hurricane insurance). The agent replied with a quote and I responded accepting his offer. We met at my residence and I showed him the koi pond and wrote a check for the amount of the premium on October 11, 2008. I followed up in an e-mail less than one week later, asking that the agent confirm that my flood insurance coverage was bound. He responded by e-mail, assuring me that he submitted the application and explained that the policy through FEMA would take 30 days to be in effect. This was cause for celebration. While my neighbors worried about the constant threat of the pond flooding (as it had done in 2003), I felt confident that even if it flooded, any losses would be paid under my shiny, new flood insurance policy.

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A Proactive Approach to Heat Illness

April 07, 2011

Robin Whisman
Assistant Director for Injury Prevention and Care
Campus Recreation
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Heat illness poses a serious risk to individuals engaging in physical activity, especially when exercising outdoors or in facilities that are not climate-controlled. Unfortunately, people are often unaware that they are at risk for heat illness until it is too late. Even in less-than-scorching heat, high humidity levels can impair the body’s ability to cool itself. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Campus Recreation has adopted a proactive approach to dealing with heat illness that involves monitoring conditions, educating patrons, and closing facilities if conditions become hazardous.

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Lightning Detection or Prediction Systems

April 07, 2011


Tim Stoecklein, Assistant Director
Recreational Services
Kansas State University

It has been said that the weather is the most popular topic of conversations across the world, and if you think about it, that is probably a fairly accurate statement. To play or not to play is often the question we face when it comes to our recreational programs. Typically the decisions focus on the rain, the snow, the wind, or the lightning. Sometimes it can be a combination of several as once I had to cancel a softball game due to snow AND lightning! Of all the elements served up by the environment, lightning is the second most deadly, behind floods.

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Hurricane Katrina — Emergency Response – Lessons Learned

April 07, 2011

Missie McGuire
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Tulane University

Emergency Preparedness begins with an organized university-wide pre-storm and post-storm response to any natural disaster your campus may be susceptible to. There should be three primary objectives to an emergency plan in a collegiate environment: 1) to provide safety and security for students, faculty and staff, 2) to assist in minimizing and mitigating property damage, and 3) to provide a blueprint for the restoration and resumption of academic and business operations.

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