Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death.
- Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.
- Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning.
- Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.
Lightning is a leading cause of injury from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.
Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can create or cause:
- Powerful winds over 50 mph
- Flash Flooding and/or Tornados
Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris.
A tornado can:
- Happen anytime and anywhere.
- Bring intense winds, over 200 miles per hour.
- Look like funnels.
Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage from storm surge, wind damage, rip currents, and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. Storm surge historically is the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States.
Atlantic Hurricane Season lasts from June 1-November 30.
Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least three days. In extreme heat, your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. Older adults, children, and sick individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms, including blizzards, can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.
A winter storm can:
- Last a few hours or several days.
- Cut off heat, power, and communication services.
- Put older adults, children, and sick individuals and pets at greater risk.
If you are under a flood warning:
- Find safe shelter right away.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown!
- Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
- Depending on the type of flooding:
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
- Stay where you are.
Stay safe during thunderstorms and lightning.
- When thunder roars, go indoors! Move from outdoors into a building or car with a roof.
- Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
- Avoid using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.
- Avoid running water.
- Turn Around. Don't Drown! Do not drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
- Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Report them immediately.
Stay safe during a tornado.
- Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.
- Pay attention to emergency alerts for current emergency information and instructions.
- Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.
Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Find out how rain, wind, water, and even tornadoes could happen far inland from where a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall. Start preparing now.
Prepare for Hurricanes:
- Know your hurricane risk.
- Make an emergency plan.
- Know your evacuation zone.
- Recognize warnings and alerts.
- Review important documents.
- Strengthen your home.
- Get tech ready.
- Help your neighborhood.
- Gather supplies.
When the body gets too hot, it begins to sweat to cool itself off. If the sweat is not able to evaporate, the body cannot regulate its temperature. This can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or worse.
Stay safe in the heat.
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
- Identify places in the community where you can go to get cool.
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors designed to reflect heat back outside.
- Add insulation to keep heat out.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car on a warm day.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Drink plenty of water.
Stay safe during winter weather.
- Stay off roads, if possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
- Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.