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. In addition to preparing your home and packing all the essentials needed while on vacation, make sure you take these summer natural disasters into consideration, too.
1. Urban Twisters in 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 make sure your hotel has a safe room, which is typically in a basement or interior room on the first floor.
2. Western Wildfires
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 forested areas. Even buildings not immediately next to vegetation 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 that list wildfires and their containment prior to any road travel.
3. Flash Flooding in the Southwest
Desert states aren’t always so dry. They are, in fact, 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 the National Weather Service, a flood six inches deep will reach the bottom of most cars, which can cause the driver to lose control, and one foot of water could potentially sweep those cars away.
Be prepared: Avoid this summer disaster by learning the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning, and pay attention to the weather reports to avoid driving during summer monsoons.
4. Southeastern Hurricanes
Hurricane season in the U.S. is active along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico from June through November. While these powerful storms make their biggest impact on coastal destinations, the wind and water damage caused by hurricanes can reach far inland and last for days after the storm with floods and power outages. Some hurricanes build over several days so vacationers will know when a major storm is projected to affect their destination. Other hurricanes form quickly and do not offer much warning, making them a critical summer natural disaster to prepare for.
Be prepared: Keep an eye on hurricane forecasts and change plans before traveling to a destination in the path of a storm. For visitors already in the destination, follow all evacuation notices and consider these severe weather hacks to stay out of harm.
5. Extreme Heat in the Northeast
Summer temps in the Northeast are 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 how to prepare for an outage and what to do during and after.
We Can Help