The Threat of Severe Weather

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It is spring in the United States. It is a time of nature’s renewal as the grass gets greener, the flowers start to bloom and the trees regain their leaves. It is also the time of year when the weather can quickly take a turn for the worst!

SevereTStorm

Living in Texas, we must always be mindful of the weather. What can start out as a perfectly beautiful spring day can turn into an afternoon of severe thunderstorms with flooding, hail or even tornadoes! Spring storms can be so unpredictable in Texas. Because of our geographical location we can receive moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, as well as from the Pacific Ocean by means of traveling the wind currents over Mexico.

SevereWeather

Just a couple of days ago, several Texas counties experienced extremely heavy rainfall resulting in major flooding. Especially hard hit was the Houston metropolitan area. Much of that area received up to 17 inches (43.18 Centimeters) in less than 12 hours. More than 1000 homes have been flooded, plus numerous businesses, apartment complexes and schools. Hundreds of high water rescues took place which included both people and animals that were caught in the rapidly rising flood waters. Sadly, at least seven deaths have been directly attributed to the flooding in the Houston area.

HouFlood

Flooding kills more people than lightning or tornadoes. If you get caught in a storm, make sure you know your location of where you are driving at.  Stay away from low water crossings and bridges. A good rule of thumb and you hear it all the time: Turn Around Don’t Drown! People should also remember that just because the storm passes the threat of flooding from the cresting of rivers and creeks can linger for days. It is best to avoid low water crossing areas around rivers and creeks until they have been declared safe.

Hail

Just a week earlier, on April 12th, the San Antonio metropolitan area was hit with a severe thunderstorm. Rainfall amounts were relatively minor with reports of 1.5 inches (3.81 Centimeters) to 2 inches (5.08 Centimeters) in most of the area. The major concern with this storm was the golf ball to tennis ball sized hail that accompanied the storms which caused numerous reports of property damage to vehicles and homes.

SA+Hail+damage

No matter where you live, there is always the chance that sever weather can strike. Many times, even before you see rain, you will hear thunder and see lightning. The worst place to be when lighting occurs is outside because there really is NO safe place outside. If you should happen to be outside and cannot take cover, follow these simple rules:

  • Get off elevated areas such as hills, mountains, and bridges.
  • Never take shelter underneath a single tree to weather the storm.
  • Stay away from bodies of water, such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans.
  • Stay away from things that conduct electricity.

If you are inside:

  • Stay off phones, computers, and electronic devices.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks and bathtubs.
  • You may think it is exciting to watch a storm on a front or back porch, but stay away from porches and windows.

Lightning

It’s always a good idea to have a “survival kit” ready because storms come and go very quickly. This is especially true in Texas! A survival kit may include flashlights, extra batteries, candles, matches, bottled water, an extra power source for your phone such as a portable charger, emergency first aid supplies, a portable radio, and non-perishable goods. You may want to also keep a copy of emergency phone numbers on hand, extra sets of keys and anything else of importance to help in case severe weather activity occurs.

homemade survival kit

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31 thoughts on “The Threat of Severe Weather”

  1. Thanks for sharing! It make me kind of sad how the weather has changed due to global warming. Haven’t made a survival kit but I’m starting by adding one of the items you posted.

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    1. Both my daughter and my sister live within blocks of the massive flooding currently taking place in the NW Harris County/Cypress area. We are all very thankful that they were both fortunate enough not have received any damage. I just read this morning that 3000 square miles have been affected by the flooding in the Houston area. That is twice the size of the state of Rhode Island!

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  2. Oh man that seems scary ! I never had a storm experience before and I never want to have one but as you said it’s better to be ready. And the picture of the tennis ball tho

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  3. Global warming is definitely a reality now. Global leaders can no longer afford to be sceptical about it. Here in India we are facing droughts and famines in April itself, while I remember my childhood spent amongst spring flowers. My prayers go out for all those who are suffering the fury of the nature.

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  4. Excellent post with helpful tips! Glad you take it seriously. There’s so many people around here who scoff at the sirens and weather warnings then cry over the damage. Infuriating!

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    1. I have always had a serious respect for the weather. Mother Nature doesn’t play around and rarely gives second chances! But I do agree with you, though, many more people need to take weather warnings much more serious than they do!

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  5. I moved here from Ireland, and I have to say it was the scariest prospect, having to deal with something like tornados. Thankfully we moved to New England where there aren’t many. Great post.

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    1. I have lived in Texas my whole life. The scariest thing about Texas weather IS the potential of tornadoes that sometimes accompany severe thunderstorms. However, the area where I live along the central Texas coast has had very few tornadoes during my lifetime. Tornadoes tend to be much more prevalent much further north, around the Dallas area and on up into Oklahoma and Kansas. Personally, I have never been affected by any severe weather other than some occasional minor flooding. Like with anything else, you learn how to deal with your situation and what to do in order to keep yourself and your family safe.

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    1. No, generally winters in Houston are usually not bad at all, unless they get hit with an ice storm. While ice storms do not happen often, they can be crippling to a city like Houston because they lack the proper equipment to handle such an event. I lived in the Houston Metropolitan area for 26 years and only experienced severe ice storms twice during that time.

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  6. Weather happens. Everywhere and for as long as the earth has been in orbit around the sun. Always be prepared. I’ve lived in Hurricane Alley, an earthquake zone, and currently I live in a region where it’s not uncommon to have 7 feet of snow outside your front door. (Thankfully, this winter was not as bad as last year).

    Your article provides excellent tips to be prepared and stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Being from Scotland, were used to the cold, wet weather. It’s a very rare occasion for us to get a bit of the sun. In saying that, certain parts of Scotland were flooded last year with the rain and no matter how prepared the areas were that are prone to the flooding, nothing stops the water from getting in. The storms look really scary in your pictures, stay safe.

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  8. This saddens me whenever I read or see reports and stories of natural calamities that is very unlikely than the previous years. Global warming is getting terrifying nowadays.

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  9. That is so unfortunate. Thanks for posting this.

    In times of catastrophic events, it’s really important to take precautionary measures and be aware of places that you should stay away from or use as shelter.

    It is always best to prepare first kit and some emergency supplies like batteries, flashlights, and candles. In additiin, it’s also good to stack up in good just in case you get stuck because of these catastrophic events.

    Liked by 1 person

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