...Missouri Summer Safety & Lightning Awareness Week June 22-28...

Missouri Summer & Lightning Safety Week

June 22-28, 2008

Playing it Safe in the Ozarks


NWS Lightning Safety   |   MO Emergency Management Agency   |   MO Department of Health

Join us in promoting lightning safety during Lightning Safety Week.   This page includes important safety information that can save lives. Please help spread the word about Lightning, Flood, UV and Heat safety so we can have a safe summer.


  Lightning Safety

 

lightning poster

Link to larger poster

When you are outdoors enjoying the many recreational opportunities in the Ozarks, you should be especially alert for changing weather conditions and know what to do if thunder is heard or lightning is observed.

At any given moment, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress on Earth. This amounts to 16 million storms a year! In the U.S., there are ~25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year. While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous.

Take a look at outdoor lightning safety rules to know what action to take when lightning is observed or thunder is heard.

Tragedies in school sponsored athletics are unfortunately a growing trend as well. When thunderstorms threaten, coaches and officials must not let the desire to start or finish an athletic activity or event cloud their judgment when the safety of participants and spectators is in jeopardy. 

For more lightning facts and safety information go to the following sites:

NWS Lightning Safety Week page

Lightning Overview

Kids Page

Lightning Statistics & Facts

lightning picture

Missouri Lightning Deaths
Year
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
Deaths
2 0
2
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0


Flood Safety
 
Each year more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water.   Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive across a flooded road.  

Already this year in the Ozarks, there have been three fatalities and dozens of water rescues due to cars being swept away by flood waters.  

Turn Around Don’t Drown logo

One of the primary flood hazards and causes of flood related deaths across the Ozarks is driving into low water crossings. Every year a few adventurous drivers attempt to cross flooded roads and fail.  Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, Turn Around Don’t DrownTM. You will not know the depth of the water nor the condition of the road under the water.

flooded car 1  flooded car 2

Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot and typically flows downstream at 6 to 12 mph.  When a vehicle stalls in the water, the water’s momentum is transferred to the car. For each foot the water rises, 500 lbs. of lateral force is applied to the automobile.

flooded car 3  flooded car 4

But the biggest factor is bouyancy. For each foot the water rises up the side of the car, the car displaces 1500 lbs. of water. In effect, the automobile weighs 1500 lbs. less for each foot the water rises.  Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles!!!


 UV Safety 

 
Outdoor recreational opportunities to enjoy the Summer sun abound in the Ozarks region. However, extended time in sun can be harmful.  Before heading to the lake, floating, or to the ball game, make sure to take proper precautions to protect your skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

For much more UV information and UV forecast go to the following sites:
 
 

Environmental Protection Agency UV Information

 
 

NWS Ultraviolet Index Awareness 

UV Index Logo


Exposure CategoryUV IndexProtective Actions
Minimal 0, 1, 2 Apply skin protection factor (SPF) 15 sun screen.
Low 3, 4 SPF 15 & protective clothing (hat)
Moderate 5, 6 SPF 15, protective clothing, and UV-A&B sun glasses.
High 7, 8, 9 SPF 15, protective clothing, sun glasses and make attempts to avoid the sun between 10am to 4pm.
Very High 10+ SPF 15, protective clothing, sun glasses and avoid being in the sun between 10am to 4pm.

 UV Safety Tips

Limit Time in the Midday Sun Do Not Burn
Five or more sunburns doubles your risk of developing skin cancer.

Seek Shade

Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
UV light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
Wear a Hat Generously Apply Sunscreen
Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Cover Up Wear Protective Clothing
Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
Wear Sunglasses that Block 99-100% of UV Radiation Seek Shade
Seek shade when appropriate remembering that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember the shadow rule when in the sun: Watch Your Shadow. No Shadow, Seek Shade!
Always Use Sunscreen Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
Avoid Sunlamps and Tanning Parlors Watch for the UV Index
The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, the UV Index is issued daily in selected cities across the United States.
Watch for the UV Index Get Vitamin D Safely
Get vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with Vitamin D. Don’t seek the sun.

 


 Heat Safety
 
Summers get hot and humid here in the Ozarks. Although the Ozark Plateau prevents us from reaching temperatures as high as surrounding areas, summer heat can reach dangerous levels, especially when accompanied by humid conditions. This causes the apparent temperature to feel even hotter.

Go to our Heat Index forecast page for expected heat indices.

Heat Safety 

Missouri Heat Related Deaths*


Missouri Heat Related Deaths: 1980 - 2006: 877

Missouri Heat Related Deaths: 1995 - 2006: 337

Year 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
Deaths 25 25 3 14 24 47 23 92 12 9

 

Source: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)

 

Heat Index Chart

The combined effects of temperature and humidity can be measured using the Heat Index chart.

 

                    relative humidity %

t

e

m

p

e

r

a

t

u

r

e

F

 

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

108

130

137

                 

106

124

130

137

               

104

119

124

131

137

             

102

114

119

124

130

137

           

100

109

114

119

124

129

136

         

98

106

109

113

117

123

128

134

       

96

101

104

108

112

116

121

126

132

     

94

97

100

102

106

110

114

119

124

129

135

 

92

94

96

99

101

105

108

112

116

121

126

131

90

91

93

95

97

100

103

106

109

113

117

122

88

88

89

91

93

95

98

100

103

106

110

113

86

86

87

88

89

91

93

95

97

100

102

105

Heat Index Chart

Heat Wave Safety Tips 

Heat Index & Related Heat Disorder

130

Heat stroke likely

105-130

Sunstroke, Heat Cramps or Heat Exhaustion likely

90-105

Sunstroke, Heat Cramps or Heat Exhaustion likely

Drink plenty of water or  nonalcoholic 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 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.

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.  

Do not drink alcoholic beverages.                       

Heat Disorder & Related Symptoms

Sunburn

Redness & pain. Swelling of skin, blisters, fever, headaches.

Heat Cramps

Painful spasms usually in muscle of legs and abdomen.

Heat Exhaustion

Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale & clammy. Fainting & vomiting.

Heat Stroke

High body temperature (>105) Hot dry skin. Rapid pulse. Possible unconsciousness.

 

Related Links

NWS Springfield Heat Index page:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/sgf/Briefing_Pages/heat_brief.php

NWS Heat Safety:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/index.shtml           

Missouri Department of Health: http://www.health.state.mo.us

NWS Heat Related Products

To advise you of the potential of excessive heat, NWS Springfield will issue a:

Heat Advisory - Heat Index(HI) of 105 degrees for 3 hours and a minimum 24 hour HI in the middle 70s.

Excessive Heat Warning - HI of 105 degrees for 3 days and a minimum 24 hour HI in the middle 70s. Warnings are also issued for a HI of 115 for 3 hours.


Hazardous Weather Outlook - Daily at 6 AM and 1 PM to highlight the potential of any hazardous weather over the next few days.


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