Get Ready for Fall Weather Hazards
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Social Media Plans (PDFs)
- Space Weather
- Weather-Ready Wednesday
- Action of the Month
- Fall Weather Safety (PDF)
Weather Safety Web Sites
DON’T WAIT. COMMUNICATE!
During a disaster, does your family know how to stay in touch? Don’t wait for the worst to happen. Make a family communications plan to ensure that your family is prepared.
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For many, fall brings cool air, trees displaying their brilliant colors, warm apple cider and the crunch of leaves beneath your feet. Fall marks the kickoff of football season and students returning to school. But the season can also bring weather hazards such as strong storms with whipping winds, early season snows and floods.
Don’t let dangerous fall weather catch you unprepared! With just a few simple steps, you can be weather-ready for whatever comes this fall.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Know Your Risk
- Check weather.gov every morning before you leave home to make sure you’re prepared for what the weather might bring.
2. Take Action!
- Learn about the hazards listed below to understand the weather you may experience this fall.
- Make an emergency supplies kit.
- Make a family communications plan for emergencies.
3. Be A Force of Nature
- Inspire others to take action by showing your friends and family how you are prepared. You can tell them over the phone or in person, or tweet or post about it.
FALL WEATHER HAZARDS
Hurricane season peaks in September. We may not be having an active Atlantic season so far in 2015, but as Hurricane Andrew proved in 1992, #ItOnlyTakesOne to change your community. The Pacific Ocean, on the other hand, has had its fair share of storms already this year! Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents.
What to Do: If you live near the coast, you may be asked to evacuate in case of a hurricane. Make sure to have a plan on where you and your family would ride out the storm if you are told to evacuate. Be sure to have a NOAA Weather Radio so you can get the latest updates on the storm.
Solar storms have treated the U.S. to some fantastic aurora borealis displays so far this year, but it’s important to remember that these storms are as dangerous as they are beautiful. An extreme space weather event can impact the electrical power grid, leaving you and your loved ones in the dark. On March 13, 1989, a powerful geomagnetic storm triggered a major power blackout in Canada that left six million people without electricity for nine hours.
What to Do: Prepare for power outages by keeping extra batteries on hand or have a hand-crank charger. Ensure that your emergency kit has enough food and water in it to tide your entire family over for at least three days.
2015 has been one of the worst fire seasons in recorded history. In late August, a record breaking number of NWS Incident Meteorologists were deployed to support fires in the western U.S. and Alaska. Nearly seven million acres of land have already been burned this year. Each year, on average, wildfires kill 30 people, destroy 2,800 homes and burn more than seven million acres. Drier conditions in the fall can create more fuel for fires. It also tends to be windier in the fall which can cause a fire to spread more quickly.
What to Do: If you live in an area prone to wildfires, make sure your home is Firewise and fire-safe. Also determine evacuation routes from your home. Visit weather.gov to determine if your area is at risk for dangerous fire weather conditions.
Winter is coming… sooner than you think! Snow and ice storms can impact mountainous areas as early as September, and by November, much of the northern tier of the country will be feeling winter’s icy grip. Seventy percent of all winter fatalities are due to accidents while driving.
What to Do: Slow down! Whether it’s the first snow or ice of the year or the last, you should ALWAYS be prepared. Build anEmergency Preparedness Kit for your car. If you already have one, be sure to update any items that may have expired since last fall.
Record flooding in Texas and Oklahoma claimed the lives of more than 40 people and caused nearly $850 million in damages earlier this year. Numerous high water rescues took place because people drove into floodwaters. It takes just twelve inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most large vehicles. It takes even less to carry you away if you walk or bike into flood waters. Water may look shallower than it really is so don’t take a chance!
What to Do: Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Never drive, walk or bike into flood waters. This simple message could save your life.
As the temperature starts to drop, stronger storm systems will begin to move in. Windy conditions are common in the fall, with some storms packing quite a punch! Straight line winds can exceed 100 mph and can knock over semi-trucks, trees and powerlines. They can also topple mobile homes and send dangerous flying debris through the air.
What to Do: If caught in the open in strong winds, seek shelter. Avoid trees, power lines and objects that could blow around.
California is currently in the grip of a historic drought. This is more than an inconvenience - droughts cause immense economic damage. From 1980-2014, there were 22 drought events with losses exceeding $1 billion (CPI-Adjusted) each across the United States, including the crippling Western drought that cost an estimated $4 billion.
What to Do: During a drought, follow directions from local officials on burn bans and water conservation.
NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, water and climate data and forecasts and warnings to protect life and property and enhance the national economy. Our goal is a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is prepared for and responds to weather-dependent events. Here’s what we’re doing to prepare the public for fall weather hazards.
- NOAA’s National Weather Service leads Seasonal Safety Campaigns to prepare the public for seasonal weather hazards.
- NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issues Atlantic and Pacific Hurricane Outlooks as a general guide to the expected overall activity during hurricane season.
- NOAA warns the public about severe weather through Wireless Emergency Alerts and NOAA Weather Radio.
- NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center issues Fire Weather Outlooks to help local officials prepare for potential wildfires.
- NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center provides space weather forecasts, watches, warnings and alerts.
- NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center provides snow and ice forecasts from September 15 - May 15.
- NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center monitors drought and El Niño conditions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources for workplace preparedness and response to severe weather emergencies during the fall, including: hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and winter weather. Employers must ensure that workers involved in response and recovery are protected from potential safety and health hazards. OSHA also provides information and resources to assist in these efforts. OSHA and NOAA encourage workers and employers to be aware of weather forecasts, train workers on severe weather plans, and keep emergency supplies, including a battery-operated weather radio, on hand to be better prepared when severe weather strikes.Follow NWS on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news on weather preparedness.