The Importance of Listening to Weather Service Warnings
I know...I know! The media is accused of being like Chicken Little and saying the "Sky is Falling" whenever we say that there is a Beach Hazard's Statement/Warning. Flash Flood Warnings or Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. Most times, there's nothing, but then on Saturday there was something!
On Saturday, 3 people were injured after a lighting strike in the Patton Pond area in Ellsworth. Luckily, no one was severely injured but what a scary situation!
I know I'm guilty of sitting outside on the covered porch when there's a lightning storm, when I should be inside taking cover. I remember my grandmother unplugging her phone when there was lightning in the area. We used to tease her, but it turns out you should unplug all electronic devices during a lightning storm, to avoid the risk of a surge "frying" your electronics. At the very least they should be plugged into a surge protector.
I would suggest downloading the free "Lightning" APP for your smart device, so you get notified anytime lightning strikes are detected in your area!
I just read about people being needed to be rescued in my college hometown of Middlebury, Vermont. Swift water rescue teams were dispatched after they received a month's worth of raining in hours this past week! We routinely remind people not to drive through flooded areas, but drivers think their vehicles can "power through" and end up in trouble.
And don't even get me started about the Beach Hazards Statement/Warning! Beach Hazard Statements are issued on days when a significant number of boats and paddlecrafts are expected to be out on the water and when warm air temperatures may cause people to underestimate the dangers of the cold water. We live in Maine, and it may be common sense that the ocean or lake is going to be "cold". But if it's 80 degrees out, and the water temperature is in the 40's or 50's, and you fall in, hypothermia is a real possibility if you are not dressed appropriately and can't get out of the water quickly. My cousin and the guide he was with drowned off the coast of Maine because of this, and it was only through the Grace of God that my cousin's wife survived.
So the next time you read on the internet about weather warnings, or hear the Emergency Broadcasting System talk about severe thunderstorm warnings pay attention! The life saved could be yours, or that of a loved one.!
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