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Storms Can Kill

Every year hundreds of people are killed and millions of dollars of damage are caused by storms and the destruction they leave behind.

The forces of nature can have an impact that changes the way you live, not just today or tomorrow, but forever. On any given day, the weather where you are right now can be as gentle as a morning breeze but before the day is over, it can change into a dark clouded monster, destroying homes and businesses and causing serious injury and death.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, downpours, lightning, strong winds, blizzards, ice storms, heat waves, and other weather conditions are a part of nature and they are all deadly. Thousands of people are killed and many, many more are injured by weather related incidents throughout the year.

Although lightning doesn't strike people very often, it does happen on occasion. On July 27, 2014, at least four bolts of lightning struck Venice Beach, California killing one and injuring several others. On average, nearly 50 people are killed each year by lightning and hundreds more injured.

Some areas don't get certain types of storms as much as others but that doesn't mean that they won't get them someday, because over time, weather patterns change and so do storm tracks.

Some storms and/or their aftermaths can be so shocking and brutal that it is hard to comprehend what happened. Large numbers of people can be displaced and property damage can be so extensive that it boggles the mind.

In certain cases, the actual storm may not have any affect on you at all. The weather event may be many miles away while all you see are bright sunny skies. But days later, the flooding from the storm makes it's way downstream and your area catches the brunt of it. Rushing water from upstream can cause rivers and streams to overflow, flash floods, dam brakes, and mudslides.

Heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous regions, can be just as deadly. Each year, avalanches cause many injuries, deaths, and property damage. On the surface, snow appears light and fluffy, but when it piles up, it becomes heavy and can come tumbling down a mountain at a high rate of speed destroying everything in its path.

Ice storms cause power lines to snap like twigs and trees to come crashing down. Roads become impassable and unsafe to drive on. Hundreds of people die each year due to snow, white outs, and ice on roads and highways.

Wherever you live or travel, you should be aware of the dangers of winter storms and be prepared to cope with one. For more information on the history of flooding in your area, and how you and your family can prepare for winter, call your city or county Office of Emergency Services (in the Government section of the telephone book), or the nearest office of the National Weather Service.

Your city, county, and state Offices of Emergency Services have prepared brief safety tips to help you prepare for a safe .

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