2012 was a year for the books: from a superstorm to a super-hot summer, we’ve seen record after record shattered by Mother Nature. Take a look at the following clips to see some of the year’s most destructive storms and their aftermath — and our tips to help you weather these types of events safely next year!
1. Hurricane Sandy
On October 29, Hurricane Sandy came ashore near Atlantic City, N.J. The storm devastated the eastern seaboard and caused an estimated $63 billion in damages, making it the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history (second only to Hurricane Katrina). For a sobering look at the storm’s magnitude, take a look at this ABC News video of the wreckage from one of Sandy’s hardest-hit coastal towns, Seaside Heights, N.J.
Play it safe in 2013: Due to the extended electricity losses and flooding during Sandy, hypothermia became a health risk during and after the weather event. If a storm leaves you without electricity, make sure you layer plenty of warm clothes, move around and wear a hat to help keep warm. Always listen closely for and follow evacuation protocols to avoid being stranded.
2. The November Nor’easter
Ten days after Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S., a powerful nor’easter swept through the Northeast, dumping inches of snow and rain on already-battered communities. The nor’easter produced 8-foot waves along the coast and set snowfall records in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Watch this ABC News video for a glimpse of the Nor’easter experience.
Play it safe in 2013: If you have a generator you’re planning to use the next time a weather event knocks out the electricity, make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector. This little hero of a device might have saved several lives during November’s storm.
3. June Derecho
A derecho is a set of severe thunderstorm complexes, and in late June, one of the most destructive derechos in North American history hit the Midwest from Indiana to Virginia. The derecho resulted in one tornado, winds in excess of 90 mph and hail up to 2.75 inches large; more than 3.7 million customers lost power. All told, the damage was estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. Watch this video by toobmonstah to see the storm raging in Maryland, including two transformer explosions.
Play it safe in 2013: The majority of the derecho’s fatalities were the result of falling trees. If 2013 brings thunderstorms your way, retreat indoors immediately. If possible, take shelter in a basement or away from windows to best protect yourself.
4. Colorado Wildfires
After an unusually dry winter, a set of wildfires burned throughout Colorado during heat wave-riddled June and July, destroying more than 600 homes and 200,000 acres in the process. 34,500 residents were evacuated as a result of the fires. One fire, the Waldo Canyon Fire, was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history—it destroyed 350 homes and almost 20,000 acres alone. In this video captured by LuvinMusicMan, you can see the Waldo Canyon Fire progressing.
Play it safe in 2013: When wildfire season rolls around, make sure to heed any public service announcements and leave your home immediately when ordered by authorities. As demonstrated by the Colorado wildfires of 2012, high winds can shift a fire’s course much quicker than you’d expect!
5. March Tornado Outbreak
On March 2nd and 3rd, a tornado outbreak hit the Ohio River Valley, resulting in 70 confirmed tornados during that two-day period. The tornados caused an estimated $1.5 billion in damage. The March tornado outbreak is the second-deadliest early-March outbreak on record, behind only the 1966 Candlestick Park tornado. Watch as the strongest tornado of the outbreak hits Henryville, Ind. in this CNN video.
Play it safe in 2013: Many of the March tornados were large enough to lift and toss vehicles—some more than 100 yards away. If you’re driving and a tornado touches down nearby, immediately pull over and find shelter in the nearest sturdy building. Your car is not a safe place to ride out the storm!
At Paul Davis, our first priority is to help keep you and your family safe in every kind of weather event.