"During the outbreak of the tornados this week-end. I decided to buy it. I live in Joplin, Missouri area. Last year we were devastated in the F-5 tonrado. Weather Defender this week-end gave me the comfort and knowledge to know that I was on the frontline getting information first hand as it happened. I did not have to wait on delayed weather reports of what was coming our way. I knew what was happening NOW. I could look in ever direction and receive firsthand radar reports of ongoing storms miles and hours away from me. After last years May 22 tornado in Joplin and losing so much. Weather Defender has made our lives less stressful just knowing we are in control of our safety firsthand. Thank You."
2011 has been a year of devastation for the record books. Through May 25th, 2011 has set numerous records for tornadoes. Many of these have stood for decades. Some frightening tornado statistics already this year are:
- Most tornadoes ever recorded in any single month (April 2011 - 875, previous record was 542 in May 2003)
- Average yearly total number of tornadoes: 1274, so far in 2011 (preliminary) is 1212
- Average number of tornadoes for the past 10 years in May: 298, so far in 2011: 295 (through 5/26 a.m.)
- Most tornado related deaths: 508 (through 5/26 a.m.) since 1953. 1925 had the most tornado deaths with 794
- Joplin's tornado death toll stands at 125 (through 5/26 a.m.), this makes it the deadliest tornado since 1947
- Joplin's tornado was rated an EF5 (the highest possible) indicating winds in excess of 200 mph!
By all accounts, the significant increase in tornado related deaths this year is due to the tornadoes hitting more densely populated areas. As the population of the United States continues to grow, this trend could likely continue well into the future. Even with improved technology and increased warning times, most structures aren't designed to withstand and EF5 tornado. That makes it crucial to have a plan for what you and your family should do in the event of a tornado. This includes a plan for where to go, having a weather radio (and possibly other sources of weather information like a portable, battery operated TV, internet access, etc...) and sufficient batteries in the safe place, basic food and water should you be without power for multiple days, etc...).
We cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared for this threat:
- Make a plan and discuss it with your family
- Determine your tornado shelter ahead of time
- Have at least 3 days of food and water on hand
The National Severe Storms Laboratory has an article that explains tornadoes and provides some very good pointers on preparing for a tornado:
"Lightning injures 540 people annually"
June, July, and August are the peak months for lightning-related fatalities in the United States and injures more people annually than Tornadoes and Hurricanes combined.
Are your prepared? Enjoy your summer, but keep these Lightning Safety tips in mind:
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to get struck. Lightning bolts can strike up to 10-miles from the base of a thunderstorm.
- Many lightning injuries occur when people leave shelter too soon after a thunderstorm has passed. Avoid tragedy and wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before resuming outdoor activities.
- Lightning follows the path of least resistance. If you cannot find indoor shelter, stay low to the ground and away from tall objects (like trees). Your vehicle is usually the safest choice if stranded outdoors.