When discussing natural disasters, many think of the some of the nation’s recent large storms – like the Oklahoma tornado with a confirmed death toll of 24. But, common severe weather like heat waves, heavy rain and lightening cause considerable casualties as well. While there are no guarantees, we urge Charleston residents to know how to prepare for the worst, thus increasing survival chances during any type of severe weather.
Did You Know?
- Severe weather tallied 528 fatalities and more than $38 billion in combined property and crop damage in 2012. The 10-year average is 640 deaths per year. (Source: Summary of Natural Hazard Statistics (download), National Weather Service)
- The average lead time from warning siren to tornado is now 14 minutes. An 8-foot by 8-foot safe room averages $6,600 to $8,700 in new construction. (Source: Tornado Preparedness Saves Lives, USA Today)
- Flash flooding is the number one cause of death from thunder storms. Just 2 feet of water can float most vehicles and 6 inches can sweep you off your feet. (Source: Severe Weather, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
While predictions are premature, it appears that we may match 2012 severe weather statistics: 2,651 injuries, 528 deaths and more than $38 billion in property and crop damage combined. Of the 11 disasters causing more than a billion dollars in damage each in 2012, seven were related to severe weather or tornadoes, two to hurricanes and two to drought.
How to Prepare for Natural Disasters
Charleston and the South Carolina coastline are currently in the path of Tropical Storm Andrea, which is scheduled to hit early tomorrow morning.
With Hurricane Season just beginning in South Carolina (June – November each year), there are certain precautions residents can take to survive severe weather and natural disasters. Let’s take a look at a few:
- Be Ready Before Disaster Strikes. Create a survival kit, make a plan and be informed before disaster strikes with extensive interactive resources from the American Red Cross. Don’t miss these emergency mobile apps for lifesaving safety tips.
- Be Warned When Disaster Strikes. Even with all the latest in prediction technologies, there is no one system that guarantees you will have plenty of warning before severe weather strikes. Experts agree that your best bet is NOAA’s weather radio.
- Be Wary After Disaster Strikes. There are criminals who prey on the survivors of natural disasters by offering fraudulent services. Learn how to spot and report fraud via the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
And, in the event that you or a loved one is injured during a natural disaster and require legal assistance, please do not hesitate to call our local office.