Severe Thunderstorm Preparation

Thunderstorms can be beautiful, but they can also cause destruction.


| January 2018


Your Emergency Game Plan your emergency game planby Shawn L. Tipping, Sarah E. Tipping, and Robert D. Harris helps prepare you for emergency situations. Learn what steps you can take before and during an emergency to minimize harm. This excerpt from chapter 18  helps you better prepare for thunderstorms and lightning damage.

We are all familiar with thunderstorms, which we usually take in stride. Sometimes the energy of a storm can be felt before it even begins, and many of us enjoy listening to a storm rolling through. Thunderstorms require three things to form: moisture, unstable air, and lift from fronts.  They occur most commonly during the spring and summer months. The National Weather Service is responsible for monitoring their conditions.  At any given moment, there are over 1,700 thunderstorms occurring around the world. A severe thunderstorm warrants caution. Depending on the time of year and severity of the storm, some storms can cause hail, damaging winds, and dangerous flooding.

Thunderstorms are considered severe if the following conditions occur:

Wind gusts or straight-line winds exceed 58 miles per hour. Wind gusts can cause loss of steering control on the highway or in the air. They can down power lines and utility poles, blow shingles off roofs and even cause destruction similar to a tornado.

Hail exceeds one inch in diameter. Although hail can be larger than a softball, just inch-round hail can cause major damage to homes, cars, crops and other property. Over $1 billion in property damage occurs each year by hail of the smaller variety.

Lightning Exists. Lightning causes hundreds of injuries annually and kills more people than hurricanes and tornadoes combined. And, lightning beats hail when it comes to dollars lost to property damage.





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