June 23, 2014
Topic: Campus News
University officials would like to remind members of the campus community about important information to help plan for and response to various weather situations.
National Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 22-28.
Washtenaw County's emergency broadcasters are:
Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the section of the storm where there is rain, about the distance thunder from the storm can be heard. That's why the National Weather Service recommends that if individuals can hear thunder from a storm, they are close enough to be struck by lightning.
The slogan from the NWS is "when thunder roars, go indoors."
Although there were no reported deaths or injuries in Michigan in 2012 and 2013 due to lightning, according to the NWS, documented lightning-related injuries in the country average about 300 a year.
University officials also encourage the campus community to follow these weather tips from the Division of Public Safety and Security:
• Sign up for UM Emergency Alerts. Messages are delivered when a tornado warning has been issued for our county or for a severe thunderstorm warning with winds in excess of 70 miles per hour.
The UM Emergency Alert system delivers urgent updates via e-mail, text and phone calls. Individuals can register up to two phone numbers to receive phone call notifications and one number to receive text messages. Registration is available on the university's Emergency Alert website.
• Know the difference between a storm watch and a storm warning. A watch means conditions are favorable to produce severe weather, but that it has not yet occurred. A storm warning means severe weather, such as a thunderstorm or tornado, has been detected in the area and people should seek immediate shelter to protect themselves.
• Those who are outdoors and hear the warning sirens should immediately seek shelter indoors and monitor local media outlets for official information.
• The City of Ann Arbor sirens are intended to be heard by those outdoors throughout the city, including on the U-M campus, to warn people to take indoor shelter. Typically, the county sirens are not audible in many on-campus locations.
• Different types of severe weather warrant different types of shelter, but for severe thunderstorms and tornados, the safest shelter is an interior hallway or small interior room on the lowest level of the building, away from windows and glass.
In addition to notifications from the UM Emergency Alert System, individuals can monitor local media outlets for updated information during severe weather.