Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared to winter storms or hurricanes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous! The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. An estimated 100,000 thunderstorms occur each year in the United States. Thunderstorms can produce lightning, strong winds, hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. Each year, many people are injured or killed by severe thunderstorms.
Straight-line winds or downbursts are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage. Once you receive a warning or observe threatening skies, YOU must make the decision to seek shelter before the storm arrives. Listed below are important tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Develop a plan for you and your family.
- Identify a safe place to take shelter.
- Practice your plan.
- Take cover when necessary.
- Listen to radio or television for updates.