9 Easy Steps to Managing Lightning at Your Facility     

   June 25, 2019 | 2:00pm EDT

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It only takes a split second for tragedy to strike from the sky, literally! Severe weather like lightning and dangerous thunderstorms continues to threaten park staff and visitors especially during the warm summer months. Just recently, on May 18th, 2019, a woman was struck and injured by lightning while fishing at Smithville Lake in Missouri. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that about two-thirds of all lightning deaths in the U.S. are associated with outdoor recreation activities.  Does your facility have a lightning safety policy in place?

The threat of lightning should be taken seriously by every recreational facility and park. Lightning is an early indicator of other severe weather phenomena like severe thunderstorms, hails, tornadoes, and even high winds! However, there is good news. Lightning can be planned for, monitored, and alerted upon effectively at your facility. Let us show you how.

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Steve Prinzivalli

Program Manager, Meteorological Operations, Earth Networks

Steve Prinzivalli is a Program Manager who supports Enterprise clients such as NOAA, NIST, National Grid, Value Added Resellers (VARs), and researchers with their data needs. He has also worked with our suite of Earth Networks TV partners to help promote and grow the network while troubleshooting issues.

Steve originally joined the Earth Networks team in February 2008 as a broadcast meteorologist, producing weathercasts for both online and mobile platforms while providing forecast support for the clients such as the NFL and MLB. He also leveraged his meteorology skills as a product manager with a heavy focus on enhancing the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) and its derivative products.

Before joining Earth Networks, Steve worked as a TV meteorologist for KSNW in Wichita, Kan., WVIT/WBGH in Binghamton, N.Y., WSYR in Syracuse, N.Y., and WHIO in Dayton, Ohio. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of weather and has taught meteorology at Penn State, West Chester University, and Broome Community College.  In between stints at Earth Networks, Prinzivalli got his feet wet in non-profit work and fundraising as general manager at WMET 1160 AM, the Catholic Radio station serving the greater Washington, D.C. metro area.

Steve earned a bachelor’s of science degree in meteorology from Penn State University. He continues to leverage his forecasting skills as a broadcast meteorologist for WTOP radio, 103.5 FM, in D.C. When not behind the mic, he enjoys running, whipping up pepperoni bread in the kitchen, and spending time with his lovely wife and great kids.

Matt Gibbons, CPRP

Superintendent of Sports Tourism and Athletics, City of North Myrtle Beach

Matt joined the City of North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation Department in 2003. He serves as the Superintendent of Recreation & Sports Tourism. After graduating from Clemson University with B.S. degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Matt was fortunate to begin his Parks and Recreation career back in his hometown of Aiken, South Carolina. He has earned a Master's degree in Recreation Management from the University of Illinois and is Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP).

One of Matt's current responsibilities is overseeing the operation of the 22 million dollar North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex. The Park and Sports Complex plays host to over 60 sports tourism events annually while providing recreation amenities and athletic opportunities to the citizens of North Myrtle Beach. Matt has traveled the country recruiting events and promoting North Myrtle Beach, a place he considers a premier sports tourism destination.


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