Watch out for summer weather

flooded park

With June comes the official start of summer, vacation fun and (unfortunately) a lot of opportunities for wicked weather – and not just the kind that causes thunderstorms and tornadoes. We have you covered, though, with this handy list of summer safety tips.

Keep your eyes on the skies
Of course, we have to lead with thunderstorms. While spring storms can pack a punch (check out our spring storm survival guide), summer’s heat can add intensity to developing storms. Besides being dangerous, they’re also fast-moving and erratic, so don’t try to outrun them or guess where they’re headed.

Also watch out for dust storms caused by thunderstorms’ strong winds, which can reduce visibility and make travel difficult. If you have to be on the road in a storm system’s vicinity, be ready to pull over if low visibility makes it too risky to keep going.

It’s raining; it’s pouring
Even if rain doesn’t come as a result of a storm, it can create havoc. More than half of all flood fatalities are vehicle-related, so if your area is being hit with a downpour, obey road signs and never drive through flood waters.

Beat the heat — or dodge it altogether
Even if there’s not a cloud in the sky, summer sunshine can make a sneak attack on your wellness. Heat and humidity take a toll on the body, so know the signs of heat illness (including confusion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, cramps and nausea). If you need to do outdoor work or have strenuous activity on your do-list, try to wait until the coolest time of the day. And always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

It only hurts when I breathe
If you live in a city, or even near one, you may have had to deal with smog. Unfortunately, summer increases air pollution’s damaging effects. For one thing, smoke from wildfires (which also go from bad to worse during the summer) can travel thousands of miles and cause poor air quality. Not only that, but exhaust from vehicles plus hotter temps can result in a hyper-cooked buildup of ground-level ozone. That’s a recipe for disaster —especially for those with asthma and other respiratory illnesses as well as the elderly.

Keep an eye on the air quality in your area. On particularly smoggy days, limit strenuous outdoor activity.

Want more warm weather wisdom?
The National Weather Service has your hookup in the form of its Summer Weather Safety presentation. And for more summer safety, check out our tips for handling fireworks with care.

WBTL-0783 (June 19)

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