There’s no telling when a natural disaster will occur, but summertime invites some of Mother Nature’s most dangerous forces into your favorite travel destination. While you’re packing for your big trip, make sure you take these wicked weather events into consideration. Find your region below to learn how you can be ready for anything.
Extreme Heat in the Northeast
Temps in the Northeast have been averaging higher lately, and they’re expected to increase by as much as 10 degrees in the next 60 years. The frequency and length of Northeastern heat waves are also expected to intensify, especially in urban areas, thanks to dense populations and more human activity.
Be prepared: Extreme heat can cause power outages. This checklist offers safety tips on what to prepare for and do during or after an outage.
Urban Twisters of the Midwest
Tornadoes are common in the rural Midwest, but these twisted forces of nature can also occur in highly populated cities. Tornadoes can devastate a neighborhood in seconds with winds as high as 300 miles per hour, and without much warning. Tornado season is May through July, and they most commonly strike between 4 and 9 p.m.
Be prepared: Know the warning signs of a tornado, and ask your accommodations about a safe room, which is typically in a basement or interior room on the first floor.
Wildfires are most common in the Western United States, but their range can stretch as far east as Texas, Colorado and Wyoming. About 32 percent of American homes are vulnerable to wildfire, which can affect anyone living near wildland vegetation. Even buildings not immediately next to forested areas risk damage, because embers can be transported by wind and ignite homes a mile or more away from the flame front.
Be prepared: Staying with friends or family? Talk to them about their evacuation plan. Also, check state organizations (like California, here) that list wildfires and their containment prior to any road travel.
Flash Flooding in the Southwest
Desert states aren’t always so dry. Southwesterners are particularly vulnerable to flash flooding. Flooding is the most common hazard in Arizona, for example, which experiences 40 to 100 floods each year. The flooding is detrimental to both homeowners and drivers — many of which (especially out-of-towners!) are unaware of the dangers and severity of floodwaters. According to FEMA, a flood of water will float most vehicles, while just six inches will reach the bottom of most cars.
Be prepared: Learn the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning, and pay attention to the weather reports to avoid driving during summer monsoons.
For more weather preparation tips, check out these severe weather hacks that everyone should know. And if you’re not sure whether your homeowners insurance covers all the potential damage you might encounter, contact your Farm Bureau agent.
Are you prepared for wicked weather this summer? Test your prep game with this quiz.