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5 Summer Weather Threats You Need to Prepare For

June 27, 2017

For many, summer means heading outside and enjoying the sunniest season; But the warmer months also mean more frequent weather dangers. Severe thunderstorms, flooding, heat-related injuries, and hurricanes are much more prevalent.

Avoid these dangers by heeding a few summer weather safety tips.
 

Severe Thunderstorms

If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

National Weather Service (PDF, 98 KB)

Summer is the warmest season, which means it’s the time of year with the most energy in the atmosphere. Lightning can strike 10-15 miles away from a thunderstorm, even under clear skies. If you see or hear thunder, go indoors immediately. Even after you’ve moved indoors, avoid using corded telephones or electrical appliances, don’t take showers or baths, and stay away from doors and windows. If you stay inside and away from these objects during a thunderstorm, your chances of being struck by lightning are incredibly low.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last rumble of thunder. Remember: No place outside is safe when lightning is in the area.

What if my House is Struck by Lightning?

If you think your home may have been struck by lightning, check the attic for a fire.

Summertime is peak lightning season in the Southeast. Attic fires often start when homes are struck by lightning. This can lead to dangerous situations because homeowners may not realize there is a fire until it has already grown out of control. If you suspect that your home may have been struck by lightning, check the attic immediately to make sure a fire hasn’t sparked. Placing a smoke detector in the attic can also aid in this process. As you should in the event of any unexpected home fire, call 911 as soon as the situation grows out of control.

Flooding

Minimize your risk for lapse of coverage in the event of a flood.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (PDF, 334 KB)

While the risk of flood damage varies from property to property, unexpected floods can happen anytime, anywhere. It’s important to understand that a standard home insurance policy does not cover floods. Only federal flood insurance reimburses you for flood damage to your property. Call your insurance agent or company to check your property’s flood risk and to ask about the National Flood Insurance Program.

When flooding is predicted or imminent, remember: Your home and belongings are replaceable, but you are not. Evacuate to safety if advised!

Extreme Heat

The best way to beat the heat is to always stay hydrated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

When you’re outdoors in the heat, even if you aren’t exercising, try to drink about 10 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes; That’s just over half the size of a standard disposable water bottle. It’s all about replenishing what your body loses when it sweats. If your body loses too much water, you’re put at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. These conditions, when left untreated, can lead to potentially fatal results.

Don’t get caught off-guard. Learn the differences between regular fatigue and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, as well as how to recover and treat for each.

Hurricanes

The best way to prepare for hurricane season is to make a plan.

Hurricanes don’t wait for you to evacuate before striking. Often, officials must issue evacuation orders a day or two ahead of the storm, before the hurricane’s full effects are known. Hurricanes offer very short response timelines, and the situation can change quickly. The best way to stay ahead of the storm is to stay informed about disasters and come up with your own customized disaster plan.

Prepare for Weather Emergencies with Ready Georgia

To stay informed and ready for whatever hits Georgia this summer, download the updated Ready Georgia mobile app for:

  • Preparation guidelines for a variety of weather-related disasters;
  • Your own personal Ready Kit, filled with items you’ll need in a disaster;
  • Weather alerts; and
  • Evacuation routes and traffic reports.

To learn even more about how to prepare and respond in the event of a disaster, visit Ready Georgia.

About the Author

Will Lanxton has served as the Meteorologist and Hurricane Program Manager for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency since May 2014. He previously worked for WSB-TV and interned at the National Weather Service. Will graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences.

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