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Summer is known for hot days, warm breezes and beach vacations. Unfortunately, summer can also be a time of severe and dangerous storms. You've probably heard about the recent weather-related tragedies in Oklahoma, but did you also know there have already been six lightning fatalities in the United States in 2013? All of the deaths occurred in April and May and in each instance the person was outside during the storm.1
While the tragic widespread property damage and loss of life following tornadoes and hurricanes are often well documented in the news, many individuals are unaware of the potentially serious impact of smaller, everyday storms. Preparedness is critical to keeping yourself and your family safe.
It may seem that the risk of injury from a severe storm is limited to those who live in areas prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, but just because you do not live in "Tornado Alley" or along the coast does not mean you should not be prepared. There are 1,800 thunderstorms occurring at any given moment around the world. That means there is an average of 16 million thunderstorms per year, and 100,000 of them occur here in the United States. Any storm can quickly become dangerous as a result of2:
While every situation is different, there are some basic tips you can follow to remain safe in most storm situations:
An emergency can happen at any time and often without notice. Learn more about how to be prepared by checking out the following resources:
1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lightning Safety. http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/fatalities.shtml. Updated June 2013. Accessed June 6, 2013.
2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning…nature's most violent storms. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/severeweather/resources/ttl6-10.pdf. Accessed June 5, 2013.
3. Federal Emergency Management Association. Natural Disasters. http://www.ready.gov/natural-disasters. Updated February 11, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
4. American Red Cross. Be Red Cross ready: Power outage checklist. http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340121_PowerOutage.pdf. Published 2009. Accessed June 6, 2013.
5. New York State Department of Health. Lightning Safety Tips. http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/3109/. Updated May 2013. Accessed June 7, 2013.
6. Federal Emergency Management Association. Family Communications. http://www.ready.gov/family-communications. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed June 7, 2013.
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