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  • Second Tornado Season: Autumn Tornado Rips Through the South

    Winter has arrived in many places the country, but for some Southern states, warmer weather mixed with powerful storms brought destruction and death. In Alabama, a tornado killed at least three people Wednesday morning, according to NBC News, with two more later confirmed dead in Tennessee. One of the reasons this tornado may have been so disastrous is because it happened in the early hours of the day while people were still sleeping.

    Rain and high winds continued on Wednesday, with a tornado watch that lasted until noon local time.

    Tornado season lasts through July, but according to Weather.com, autumn is an unofficial “second” tornado season. This second season begins in the latter half of October and lasts all the way through November. Throughout October and November, severe thunderstorms are more likely to occur. As such, tornadoes are also more likely.

    The severe storms and tornado that hit the South occurred on November 30, the last day of the second tornado season.

    november-tornadoes-via-weather second tornado seasonTornadoes can happen in most states in November (see map). The most active outbreak during second tornado season was in November, 1992. 105 tornadoes struck in 13 different states from Texas through to the Carolinas. 26 people were killed and 638 people were injured during this three-day outbreak.

    Because it’s not as common to see tornadoes after July, complacency is an issue that can affect anyone. However, as we’ve seen in this case, tornadoes can and do happen throughout the year, even when we least expect them.

    Being prepared for tornadoes year round is an important part of preparedness. And it’s not just tornadoes. Earthquakes can strike without warning, day or night. Hurricanes can come before or after the season officially ends. Wild fires can blow up any time of the year. Many disasters won’t give advanced warning, so make sure you have everything you need while the skies are clear.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner Second tornado season

  • Natural Disaster Seasons are Scheduled Year-Round

    When isn’t there a warning of some imminent natural disaster? It seems like some sort of devastation or disaster is scheduled each month, ready to knock us off our feet. Knowing when each disaster is more likely to strike can help us be better prepared, and with better preparedness comes greater safety.

    The following is a list of natural disasters the United States can expect on a yearly basis, along with applicable dates in which they are “scheduled.”

     

    Tornado season disaster seasonTornado Season: March – July

    Technically, tornado season differs for various regions. For example, the Southern States are in peak tornado season from March to May, whereas the Northern Plains and Midwest experience their tornado season around June and July. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that tornadoes can occur during any time and any month.

    To learn more about tornadoes, click here.

     

    Hurricane season disaster seasonHurricane Season: June – November

    Half the year is taken up with the Atlantic hurricane season, beginning June 1 and continuing through November 30, according to NOAA. Just like any of these scheduled disasters, some may arrive earlier than June or even after hurricane season has long since ended.

    To learn more about hurricanes, click here.

     

    Fire Season: October – January

    Fire Approaching House (NY Times) disaster season fire seasonFire season is a fickle thing. It depends on outside factors, such as recent precipitation and heat. But, October is generally the start of fire season and, depending on which part of the country you reside, could last through January.

    California, while still following these same guidelines, tends to be in the danger zone year round. “Where there’s drought, there’s fire,” says Slate. California has been in a state of drought for many years, making fires a likely threat.

     

    Earthquake Season: January – December

    Christchurch, New Zealand - March 12, 2011 disaster season earthquake season

    If you thought you had at least February off from any imminent disaster, this will come as bad news. Earthquakes happen every month of the year, in every state, and can happen at any time of the day or night. As of yet, earthquakes are unable to be predicted.

     

    There is no day or month that is immune from natural disasters. Because of this, being constantly prepared is vital. Sure, some natural disasters can be better predicted during certain seasons, making it easier to prepare, but remember, these disaster seasons aren’t always followed exactly. Hurricanes can come before or after hurricane season, tornadoes can form outside of tornado season, and fires can certainly happen year round. Also, there are other disasters, such as earthquakes, that simply can’t be predicted. Combined with blizzards and severe thunderstorms, there’s a full year of scheduled disasters waiting to strike.

    Fortunately, getting the basics can be quick and easy. Make sure you have what you need before disaster strikes. Prepare today for tomorrow’s emergencies.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner disaster season

  • North Carolina Floods at Record Levels Following Hurricane Matthew

    flooded-street-in-nc-fema-photo North Carolina Floods North Carolina Floods - Photo courtesy of FEMA

    Hurricane Matthew brought torrential rain to the Southeast and, days later, flooding is still as high as ever. In Lumberton, N.C., the flood waters stretch on for 3 miles down certain streets. Princeville, N.C. was devastated by Hurricane Floyd back in 1999; today those memories come flooding back as water levels rise to heights not seen since Floyd.

    “We’re going to have to rebuild a town,” said Princeville’s mayor.

    The worst, however, is likely over, although that doesn’t necessarily mean the flooding will be done quickly. Many of the rivers in North Carolina are still cresting at record-breaking heights, and although the water levels should be dropping soon, major flooding is remains likely for many days. Fortunately, there is no rain forecast in the near future.

    Hurricane Matthew’s destructive wind and storms came and went, but the lasting effects linger on. Even those out of the path of the storm are experiencing heavy flooding. In Georgia, for example, many people were told that because they didn’t live in a flood plain, they didn’t need flood insurance.

    How wrong they were.

    Despite living in an area not known for flooding, countless people lost tens of thousands of dollars due to flood damage. The thing about disasters is, you never can tell when one will affect you. Those affected by floods in a non-flood plain certainly weren’t expecting it. They were even out of range of the hurricane.

    When preparing for disaster, it’s wise to prepare for every scenario. Sure, some areas can rule out certain disasters, such as a hurricane hitting Utah, but what about tornadoes? Yes, they are rare, but just recently Utah experienced three tornadoes in two days. Rare doesn’t mean impossible, and being prepared for all possibilities is essential for bouncing back after a crisis.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner North Carolina Floods

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