ThunderBolt Storm Detector Brings Weather Safety to Schools Across the U.S.

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Broward County Schools select ThunderBolt to protect students and teachers from lightning.

Lightning can strike from a storm eight miles or more away with the likelihood of no visible or audible warning

The risks associated with storms and lightning are increasingly prompting school districts around the U.S. to search for reliable and easy-to-use storm warning methods for their schools. The ThunderBolt Storm Detector, due to its accuracy, text screen messages and portability, is rapidly becoming the severe weather warning product chosen for school storm safety throughout the country. Schools and universities are selecting ThunderBolt for its weather safety technology that best meets the needs of protecting students and teachers from storm-related incidents.

Developed and manufactured by storm safety experts Spectrum Electronics, the handheld ThunderBolt Storm Detector most recently was selected for school storm safety by the School District of Broward County, Florida, which includes the city of Ft. Lauderdale.

Across the country, districts commonly manage school storm safety procedures in a variety of ways, including receiving weather radar information from the National Weather Service or local weather broadcasts and transmitting the information to individual schools. The problem with this school storm safety approach is that the information is designed to report weather conditions over entire regions. As such, it is not useful to apply to one particular school, and by the time the district has transmitted the information it has lost its relevance.

Effective school storm safety procedures cannot rely on schools monitoring severe weather through sight or sound. “Lightning can strike from a storm eight miles or more away with the likelihood of no visible or audible warning,” says Edward Shaver, president of Spectrum Electronics and creator of the ThunderBolt Storm Detector. It is typical for 60% of the lightning injuries and fatalities occur each year with clear blue skies overhead.” School concerns include playgrounds, athletic fields and events, school portables, and bus pick-up areas. Each requires a different amount of time to clear the area. It’s imperative that the school has storm tracking information as it applies to the school itself, and this is what ThunderBolt does,” says Shaver.

The ThunderBolt Storm Detector is a handheld device capable of providing lightning protection by detecting thunderstorm activity from as far as 75 miles away. Once a storm is detected, it calculates the actual distance in miles and displays warning information on an easy-to-read LCD display. The ThunderBolt then continuously provides weather safety information by monitoring the storm and providing 15-second updates on the distance, approach speed, intensity, and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) to the user’s exact location. It also provides the Estimated Time to Clear (ETC), which informs the user when it is safe to resume outdoor activity after the storm has cleared an eight-mile range. Flashing lights and an audible alarm provide warnings in a variety of operating environments.

In addition to school storm safety, there are many applications for the ThunderBolt Storm Detector including government workers, parks and recreation, utilities, construction workers, mining companies, theme and amusement parks, golf courses, youth sports, boaters, campers and hikers. It can be used outdoors and in most indoor locations.

There are currently two models of ThunderBolt, the U1 for heavy-duty commercial use and PRO for light commercial/heavy-duty consumer use. There will also soon be a military model (M1) introduced. In 2006, Spectrum Electronics will introduce the ThunderBolt Storm Beacon, a fixed-based outdoor unit designed to protect the outdoor public at schools, parks and recreation facilities, hotels and resorts, office buildings and industrial plants.

About Spectrum Electronics, creators of the ThunderBolt Storm Detector

Spectrum Electronics utilizes state-of-the-art technology to bring weather safety products to the public. The company has developed an educational website about lightning protection and storm safety which provides detailed information about ThunderBolt Storm Detector, including technology information, prooduct specifications, user manuals, and purchasing information. A free educational CD is available by request.

For more information, call 1-877-738-7330 or visit our website at

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Eric Hessemer
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