With so many dangers to worry about in our daily lives, there’s perhaps one danger that often gets overlooked: the weather. A new report demonstrates how complacent we’ve become, and illustrates how dangerous ignoring warnings could be.
Consumer Reports is attempting to educate people on the various weather alerts out there and what we should do once an alert is issued. They initiated this service in the wake of a recent study from the Federal Signal Corporation that was conducted by Zogby International and which looked at how seriously we take disaster preparedness. That survey found that about half of American citizens would react to a severe weather warning with evasive action, while one third would wait until they themselves were injured or their property damaged before they did anything.
To combat this perception, the organization has supplied guidelines provided by Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
When a tornado alert is issued, people should be watchful for further information and in tune with weather services should more warnings arise. Once a warning has been issued, shelter should be sought at once.
Hurricane watches are typically issued two days in advance of the storm so that people have time to prepare themselves. When winds are already higher than 74 miles per hour, it becomes harder to prepare, hence the two day heads-up. A warning is issued a day and a half early.
For heat waves, an excessive heat warning involves a threat to life, while an advisory is slightly less severe, but could still be a serious threat if nothing is done to protect yourself.