There are a number of Severe weather hazards that can impact Grundy County each year ranging from thunderstorms to blizzards.
Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared with hurricanes and winter storms. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous! The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States, about 10 percent are classified as severe [Learn More]
Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, they are found most frequently in the United States. In an average year, 1,200 tornadoes cause 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries nationwide. You can find statistical information on tornadoes from the Storm Prediction Center. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel. The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph. The strongest tornadoes have rotating winds of more than 250 mph. [Learn More]
Lightning results from the buildup and discharge of electrical energy between positively and negatively charged areas. Rising and descending air within a thunderstorm separates these positive and negative charges. Water and ice particles also affect charge distribution.
A cloud-to-ground lightning strike begins as an invisible channel of electrically charged air moving from the cloud toward the ground. When one channel nears an object on the ground, a powerful surge of electricity from the ground moves upward to the clouds and produces the visible lightning strike. [Learn more]
Flash floods and floods are the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms…more than 140 fatalities each year. Most flash flood fatalities occur at night and most victims are people who become trapped in automobiles. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet; a depth of two feet will cause most vehicles to float. You can visit Ready America to read more about floods. [Learn more]
Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize and entire region. Even areas which normally experience mild winters can be hit with a major snowstorm or extreme cold. The results can range from isolation due to blocked roads and downed power lines to the havoc of cars and trucks sliding on icy highways. You can protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter by planning ahead [Learn More]
Heat Wave Safety Tips:
- Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
- Dress for summer. Lightweight light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
- Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
- Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. Persons who (1) have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease, (2) are on fluid restrictive diets or (3) have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
- Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician. Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.
- Spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day (during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection.
- Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult.
Heat kills by taxing the human body beyond its abilities. In a normal year, about 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat. In the 40-year period from 1936 through 1975, nearly 20,000 people were killed in the United States by the effects of heat and solar radiation. In the disastrous heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died. [Learn More]