Today marks the first official day of spring!
Warmer weather! Ditching socks for sandals! Longer days! I love all of these things. Everything’s on the up and up.
Sound advice, but always a bit of a downer. As the internet’s favorite weather-obsessed fantasy book (and TV show) character states above, spring does indeed come with some expected severe weather. There’s tornado season, which is most active in April and May. The common assumption that tornadoes only really threaten states in “tornado alley” isn’t valid anymore- recent studies have suggested that many states outside tornado alley see just as many, or more tornadoes year-to-year. Check out this awesome map be IDV Solutions of tornado tracks over 61 years– are you in an affected area?
Tornadoes are scary, but there are many, many steps everyone can take to keep themselves safe. There are also lots of sites dedicated to checklists and good info on tornado safety. At the Red Cross, we actually made that preparation easier with the new Tornado app.
The coolest part is the alert system, which will actually monitor your location and play a loud alarm if you have a tornado warning in your area. Extra useful for overnight monitoring.
Also useful to remember: many of the same tips and things you can do to prepare for tornadoes also apply to severe thunderstorms.
So now I’ve prepared for tornadoes, I can sit back, relax, and enjoy the lovely weather, right?
What am I forgetting? April showers… could bring flooding. It’s no coincidence that this is also National Flood Safety Awareness Week.
Luckily, I know that there are good flood prep tips in several locations, like the Red Cross website, Ready.gov, and the NOAA website. One of the more surprising facts I’ve heard is that “flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other severe weather related event”… which means that I will definitely be double checking my renter’s insurance to make sure it’s up to date. Even more importantly, flash flooding can happen anywhere in the country, regardless of whether your location is near a body of water.
If I have to remember just one thing about flood safety, though, it would have to be the phrase, “Turn Around Don’t Drown“. Never, ever, drive your car through flooded sections of road, because you can’t tell for sure how deep the water goes and how fast it is running.
Okay, now that we’ve gone through some of the top safety tips and are all prepared for spring, I say let’s bring on the sunshine. I’m headed to the dog park and trails as soon as possible.
Now, give yourself a pat on the back (or head) for making it to the end of this post! Happy Equinox, everyone.