Spring Has Sprung! Get Ready for Some of America’s Wildest Weather!
Date Posted: March 1, 2016
Be a Force of Nature! Help us get the word out about staying safe. The content below is free to share on the web, social media and elsewhere.
Social Media Plans
- Spring Break
- Severe Weather/Tornadoes
- Historic Tsunamis
- Rip Currents/Beach Hazards
- Turn Around, Don't Drown
- Flood Safety: Wireless Emergency Alerts
- Get Weather-Ready: Before a Tornado
- Tsunami Preparedness
- Rip Current Safety
Weather Safety Web Sites
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Tornadoes, lightning, floods, rip currents and early season heat - spring is three months of danger that can imperil the unprepared. It roars in like a lion, rampaging across the United States throughout March, April and May. And there’s one hazard that can strike the coasts at any time: tsunamis.
Spring hazards include:
- Severe Weather/Tornadoes
- Rip Currents/Beach Hazards
Nobody knows the hazards of this dynamic season more than NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). We ask that you get weather-ready for spring with just a few simple steps:
1. Know Your Risk
Check weather.gov every morning. It is a simple action that will ensure that you’re ready for the day’s weather. Don’t leave home without knowing the forecast.
2. Take Action!
Assemble an emergency supplies kit with 72 hours worth of food and water. In an emergency (such as after a tornado or some other hazard event), you may be stuck at home without electricity for three days or more. Make sure that you’re prepared. Also, ensure that everyone in your life knows how to stay in touch with an emergency communication plan. This plan lists meeting places and alternate ways of communicating in case of emergency.
3. Be A Force of Nature
Inspire others by sharing your weather-ready story on social media with the hashtag #SpringSafety. It can be a simple as posting a photo of your emergency supplies kit or letting your friends know how to reach you during an emergency. Together, we can build a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is ready for any extreme weather, water, or climate event.
You are not powerless in the face of extreme weather and water events. Learn about the hazards most common to spring - and some that are threats year-round - and what you can do about them.
Due to snowmelt and heavy rain from thunderstorms, flooding is common across much of the U.S. in the spring. In May of last year, widespread flooding in Texas left 17 dead. Flash flooding is the number one killer associated with severe weather. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.
What to Do: It’s simple: Turn Around Don't Drown®. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
In 2015, there were 26 lightning fatalities - five in Florida alone. 62% of fatalities were men. Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year.
What to Do: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, 34 tsunami events have caused more than 500 deaths and over $1.7 billion (2015 dollars) in damage to U.S. coastal states and territories. A tsunami can strike any ocean coast at any time. We cannot predict where, when or how destructive the next tsunami will be, however, we can be prepared.
What to Do: If you live, work or play on the coast, prepare for a tsunami by learning about tsunami warnings and evacuation routes.
Rip currents are powerful currents of water moving away from shore. They can sweep even the strongest swimmer away. Rip currents are deadliest during the spring and summer, claiming the lives of 41 people in 2015 (preliminary figures). They are also south Florida’s deadliest weather-related hazard. Other beach hazards include extreme heat and dangerous waves. Stay safe this Spring Break and year-round.
What to Do: Break the grip of the rip! Check water conditions before going in by looking at the local beach forecast before you leave for the beach and talking to the lifeguard at the beach. Only swim at a beach with lifeguards. The chances of drowning at a beach with lifeguards are 1 in 18 million (U.S. Lifesaving Association).
Extreme heat comes early to the Southwest. Last year, Phoenix hit 100 degrees on May 1. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of deaths each year.
What to Do: During a heat wave, reschedule strenuous outdoor activities for the coolest time of the day, drink plenty of water and spend time in locations with air conditioning.
Public Service Announcements
Safety and Health Information for Workers and Employers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources for workplace preparedness for and response to severe weather emergencies, including hurricanes, floods and extreme heat. 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.
Get to Know NOAA
NOAA’s National Weather Service 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 extreme weather and water events.
Here’s what we’re doing to prepare the public for spring weather hazards:
- NOAA’s National Weather Service leads Seasonal Safety Campaigns to prepare the public for seasonal weather hazards.
- NOAA issues a Spring Outlook to help the nation prepare for spring flooding and other hazards.
- NWS warns the public about severe weather through Wireless Emergency Alerts and NOAA Weather Radio.
- NWS has 122 Weather Forecast Offices around the country that issue weather watches, warnings and advisories.
- NWS works with local emergency managers to install Turn Around Don't Drown® signs in flood-prone areas every year.
- NWS conducts public outreach on lightning safety, including developing Public Service Announcements for fishermen.
- NWS issues Excessive Heat Outlooks, Watches and Warnings to alert the public.
- NWS provides weather forecasts that are critical for wildland firefighters and managers across the nation.
- NOAA's rip current and beach hazards safety website at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov, along with social media, provides the public with lifesaving and educational information on all beach and surf zone hazards.
- NWS operates two tsunami warning centers that monitor Earth for earthquakes and tsunamis and issue tsunami alerts to emergency managers and the public.