Athletics Emergency Protocols

  1. Inclement Weather Guidelines
    • The AD has the primary responsibility for detecting inclement weather. If the AD is not available, the Head of School, Principal or Coach leading the activity are responsible for detecting inclement weather.  
    • Where possible, the AD and/or Activities Personnel will communicate cancellation with coach/supervisor(s) of outdoor activities by 1:00pm on bad air or bad weather days. MS/HS  coach/supervisor(s) should contact their students to notify them of the cancellation for that day, and the AD and Activities Personnel will send an email to parents on SchoolsBuddy notifying them of the cancellation. Coach/supervisor(s) will need to ensure all students leave campus safely. 
    • If there is an emergency weather situation (i.e., lightning, heavy rain, etc.) that begins after an outdoor activity has commenced, the coach/supervisor(s) should get all students to a safe place as quickly as possible when safe to do so. 

See Appendix for the Lightning Safety Protocol, AQI Index Recommendations, Storm Day Procedures, Typhoon Day Procedures and Hot Weather Warnings.


Flash-to Bang-Method: The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recommend the use of the flash to bang ratio to help determine when cover should be taken when no lightning detector is available. This method requires no equipment and is an easy way to determine the distance from the last lightning strike. To use the flash-to-bang method, begin counting on the lightning flash, and stop counting when the associated thunder is heard. Divide this number (in seconds) by 5 to determine the distance (in miles) to the lightning flash. 

For example, if the time in seconds between the lightning being spotted and the thunder being heard is equal to 30, divide that by 5, and you get 6 (30/5=6). Therefore, that lightning flash was approximately 6 miles away from the observer. The rule of thumb used for safety is a 6 mile/9.6km distance. Thus, seeking shelter is recommended if lightning is 6 miles/9.6 km away or less.

ISNS policy on lightning during an outdoor activity is as follows:

  1. A coach, supervisor, or student sees lightning (students should be instructed to report lightning to coach/supervisor(s) immediately)
  2. Immediate suspension of outdoor training/competition (do not collect equipment)
  3. Shelter should be sought in a fully enclosed building
    • If suitable safe shelter is not available then avoid tress, light poles etc.
  4. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes from the last observed lightning or thunder before resuming activities:
    • If lightning is observed at a training, then it is cancelled for that day
    • If lightning is observed during a competition hosted by a school other than ISNS, it is still expected that ISNS follow these guidelines and not resume play until safe to do so even if it means the forfeiture of a match.
    • If lightning is observed during a competition hosted by ISNS, the AD (or other event host) will follow #4 and not resume play until safe to do so

If a person is struck by lightning, apply first aid immediately if you are qualified and get emergency help promptly. 


Outdoor activities will be modified or postponed when are above normal safe operating limits. The AQI reading from this website will be used to make the determination. 


The following Meteorological Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality warning system will be used as advice; however, localized weather conditions will be used in making the final decision.  

Useful links:

Yellow Warning Signal of Rainstorm  Rainfall will be up to above 50mm within 6h, or significant rainfall has occurred and will continue. Inform outdoor staff about rain situation. All functional departments pay attention to any disaster affected.
Orange Warning Signal of Rainstorm Local rainfall is up to above 50 mm in the last 3h, and the rainfall will continue. Watch carefully low-lying and waterlogged areas. Suggest stopping outdoor affected work.
Red Warning Signal of Rainstorm Local rainfall is up to above 100 mm in the past 3h, and the rainfall will continue. Pre-school, Primary and Middle and High Schools are closed. Students need not go to school if not on campus. Students on-site should follow the school’s arrangements, and school management should ensure the safety of on-campus students. Stop outdoor operations and activitiesPersonnel in dangerous areas and disrepair buildings should be evacuated.


White Warning Signal of Typhoon Within 48 hours, a tropical storm may hit or has already hit.Follow the tropical cyclone’s progress. Please note the potential consequences.
Blue Warning Signal of Typhoon Within 24 hours, a typhoon is expected to hit. Strong winds are expected with a wind force greater than 6 scale (39-49km/h), or gusts may exceed 7 scale (61 km/h).1. Be prepared for the strong wind, and informed all outdoor operating personal. 2. Put easily affected outdoors stuff into safe place.
Yellow Warning Signal of Typhoon Within 24 hours, a typhoon is expected to hit. Strong winds are expected with a wind force greater than 8 scale (62-74km/h), or gusts may exceed 9 scale (88 km/h).1) Preschools, Elementary, Middle and High schools are closed. Students who are attending need to be taken care of. 2) Stop any high altitude job or jobs on water, keep ships in the port. 3) Release people from dangerous area, stop any assembly. 4) All functional departments are getting prepared for typhoon preventing.
Orange Warning Signal of Typhoon Within 24 hours, a typhoon is expected to hit. Strong winds are expected with a wind force greater than 10 scale(89-102 km/h), or gusts may exceed 11 scale (117 km/h).1) Emergency status of typhoon preventing. Stay in-doors or safe places to avoid typhoon.2) Reinforce the harbor.
Red Warning Signal of Typhoon Within 12 hours, a typhoon is expected to hit. Strong winds are expected with a wind force greater than 12 scale (118-133km/h).Suggest suspend all business. (Except for emergency rescue and disaster relief, mass transportation, hospitals, water, electricity and gas services)RelatedThe departments connected are ready to start the emergency rescue plan.