Lightning alert systems protect New Jersey communities from storm danger

PARAMUS, New Jersey (WABC) -- Timing is everything with storms, and technology now helps New Jersey communities gain valuable minutes to warn against lightning.

Using radar and private software, Paramus integrates their lightning protection system among their parks, the pool and the golf course.

"We saw a line of storms coming. Before that storm hit, staff went out and notified all the golfers, 'Hey, be ready. Storms are coming,'" said Andy Schuckers, Paramus Golf Course superintendent.

Audible alarms sound when lightning is 10 minutes away. Once lightning has cleared the area, horns will blast three times to let everybody know it's clear to go back outside, Schuckers said.

The next town over, Ridgewood, has prediction technology for their high school baseball field and dozens of soccer fields. Down the road, the Orchard Hills Golf Course, with just 9 holes, has its own individual system.

"When there's lightning in the area, it goes off, we hear it," said Tom Ippolito of Orchard Hills. "Everybody in the neighborhood hears it. It's loud."

These prediction monitors offer another layer of warning.

If lightning is in the forecast, don't seek shelter under a tree. Try to get inside. Even a car in the parking lot is safe.

If you absolutely can't seek shelter, make yourself as small as possible, including going up on the balls of your feet.

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