Stay Safe This Summer!
#SummerSafety

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Outreach Toolkit

Be a Force of Nature! Help us get the word out about staying safe this summer. The content below is free to share on the web, social media and elsewhere.

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AMERICA’S PREPAREATHON! AMERICA’S PREPAREATHON!
America’s PrepareAthon! is a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience. Join others around the country to practice your preparedness!

CONTACT US
Need more info? Email us at wrn.feedback@noaa.gov

Summer means vacation, outdoor activities, and fun in the sun! It’s a time when families hit the road to visit national parks or distant relatives. The warm months and long days mean that there is plenty of time for baseball games and barbecues. The sultry temperatures practically invite you to take a dip in the pool or ocean.

But don’t let the sunny days and warm nights fool you. Summer also holds significant weather hazards. Heat waves can be lengthy and deadly. Lightning deaths are at their peak during the summer. Beach hazards such as rip currents can catch the unprepared. And, it’s the start of hurricane season.

This summer, the National Weather Service (NWS) wants you to be prepared for the following weather hazards:

But you’re not powerless in the face of these hazards. With just a few simple steps, you can become weather-ready. Stay safe this summer: Know Your Risk, Take Action and Be a Force of Nature.

1. Know Your Risk
Being prepared means learning about summer weather hazards such as hurricanes, heat, lightning, rip currents, air quality and wildfires. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents.
  • Since 2003, 43 states within the continental United States have come under a tornado watch; 49 states have come under severe thunderstorm watches; and lightning strikes occur in every state.
  • Heat waves are common across the country during the summer. They are dangerous because the human body cannot cool itself properly when exposed to an extreme combination of heat and humidity.
  • In 2014, there were 26 lightning fatalities - six in Florida alone.
  • The United States Lifesaving Association estimates that more than 100 people each year die in the surf zone waters of the U.S. and that rip currents cause the majority of those fatalities. Rip currents are just one of many beach hazards.
  • Wildfires kill 30 people, destroy 2,800 homes and burn more than 7 million acres, on average, per year.
  • Flash flooding is the number one killer associated with severe weather.
  • Air pollution can make it harder for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases to breathe. Children and teens may be more sensitive than adults to the health effects caused by air pollution. According to the EPA, poor air quality is responsible in the U.S. for an estimated 60,000 premature deaths each year.

2. Take Action
While the weather may be wild, you are not powerless. Prepare for summer hazards with these simple steps:

  • Do you live in a hurricane evacuation zone? If so, you need to plan on where you and your family would ride out the storm if you are told to evacuate.
  • You may have only minutes to find shelter before a tornado strikes. Practice a family tornado drill at least once a year.
  • Protect yourself from extreme heat by rescheduling outdoor activities to earlier in the day.
  • There is no safe place outside when lightning is in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. Just remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.
  • Stay safe from rip currents and other beach hazards by only swimming at a beach with lifeguards and heed their direction. Learn how to survive a rip current.
  • If you live near wildland areas, 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.
  • Whether on foot or in a car, if you encounter flood waters, Turn Around Don’t Drown!
  • Make sure to check the Air Quality Index for your area at http://airquality.weather.gov or http://airnow.gov. If the air quality is poor, avoid prolonged or extreme exertion outdoors.

3. Be a Force of Nature
Your action can inspire others. Be a Force of Nature and share how you’re working to stay safe from weather hazards this summer.

  • Write a post on Facebook. Share with your friends and family the preparedness steps you’re taking to stay safe this summer.
  • Tweet that you’re prepared with #SummerSafety. Tell us what you’re doing to be prepared for summer hazards.
  • Create a Family Communication Plan so that your loved ones know how to get in touch during an emergency. And let your friends know that they should create a plan also.
  • Look for ways to help your town prepare, such as volunteering with the American Red Cross or joining a Community Emergency Response Team.
  • Register for America’s PrepareAthon! to learn how to stay safe during disasters.

With these steps, you’ll be doing more than just protecting yourself - you’ll help NOAA build a Weather-Ready Nation.

Get to Know NOAA
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 vision 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 summer weather hazards.

  • NWS leads Seasonal Safety Campaigns (like this one) to prepare the public for seasonal weather hazards.
  • NOAA issues a Hurricane Outlook as general guide to the expected overall activity during the upcoming hurricane season. In addition, NWS will begin issuing a prototype Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic in 2015 to highlight those areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States that have a significant risk of life-threatening inundation by storm surge from a tropical cyclone.
  • NWS warns the public about severe weather through Wireless Emergency Alerts and NOAA Weather Radio.
  • NOAA, EPA and other federal agencies created an Excessive Heat Events Guidebook to help emergency managers prepare for heat waves.
  • NWS offices issue Surf Zone Forecasts routinely to let people know of the expected conditions at a particular beach; including a daily outlook for rip current potential.
  • NOAA and the National Weather Service, in partnership with the EPA, issues daily air quality forecast guidance as part of a national Air Quality Forecasting Capability.
  • NOAA issues Fire Weather Outlooks to help local officials prepare for potential wildfires.

Safety Information for Workers and Employers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources for workplace preparedness and response to severe weather emergencies during summer, including: extreme heat, hurricanes, wildfires and floods. 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.

Photo courtesy of Chris Kerr.