BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has proclaimed April 24-28 as Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week in North Dakota. The annual event is an opportunity to keep the public informed and remind them of the potential risks of summer storms. These storms can produce lightning, damaging winds, hail, flash flooding, rural fires, power outages, and can cause the release of hazardous materials. They also cause injury and death, as well as extensive damage to property each year.
“When it comes to severe summer weather preparedness, one of the best things to do is be well-informed ahead of time. Owning an all-hazards radio can serve as a great tool for keeping your family safe in an emergency,” said North Dakota Homeland Security Director Darin Hanson. “All-hazards radios are automatically activated by the National Weather Service when a potentially severe storm is approaching so you can receive the latest updates from local officials.”
The National Weather Service (NWS), N.D. Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) and N.D. Emergency Management Association (NDEMA), along with other agencies, recommend staying informed through various means of alerts. Additional alerts could include outdoor warning sirens, radio and television broadcasts, all-hazards radio and cable-interrupt alerts. All these methods may not be available in all areas of the state, however, radio and television outlets broadcast current weather conditions and predictions during storm situations.
During Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week, NWS and NDDES social media pages will cover a different topic each day regarding severe summer weather and safety tips for each hazard, including reacting to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, conducting a tornado drill, safety tips when around lightning and what to do during flash flooding.
Additionally, communities should take this time to refamiliarize themselves with the differences between an NWS Severe Thunderstorm Watch and Warning. A Watch means severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. A Warning means severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
For more information about Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week, visit the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/bis/nd_summer_awareness_1.