If you wonder what the metal stands are on top of the Edison Ford ticket building, they are lightning rods. There are several of them throughout the site, so that we can warn visitors of a possible lightning strike. To further protect visitors, an alarm siren is also in place, and Edison Ford security and visitor services staff are always on alert for
any weather threats.
If lightning strikes within 10 miles of Edison Ford, our security team closes the riverside of the estates. This 10-mile rule is based on the WeatherBug lightning detector. Any visitors that are on the riverside of the property will be escorted to safe buildings, such as the museum. The riverside gates are then locked until it is deemed safe, the porches have been mopped and the site is ready for visitors to continue touring. We may be overly diligent, but visitor safety is our first concern. For years we have watched weather maps to monitor storms without the technology of sirens and lightning detectors. Now with the new systems, we’ll be able to better monitor the weather and prepare for impending thunderstorms. David LaCroix, Security Chief; Brent Newman, Site Curator; Rob Solomon, Facilities Director; Visitor Services staff; and our IT guru, Tom Hottovy have all been instrumental in securing this new technology.
For folks who call in for information, we always recommend checking the status of open areas at Edison Ford before arriving. The Museum is always open and sometimes in the summertime, we err on the side of caution while we watch storms move across Southwest Florida.