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Image by Jonas Kaiser

Severe Weather

Like many other parts of the country, Orange County sometimes experiences rainstorms, hail, flash flooding, high winds, thunderstorms, and lightning. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities—more than 140 annually—than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard. Some 90 percent of all presidentially-declared disasters across the U.S. are weather-related, and account for around 500 deaths and nearly $14 billion in damage per year.

  • Every thunderstorm is dangerous because every thunderstorm produces lightning. Every year in the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed by lightning.

  • Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Survivors often lose their ability to concentrate on tasks such as reading for long periods of time, finding it uncomfortable. Some people find they have poorer mathematical skills. 

  • Because currents often flow into the body through the eyes and ears, people struck by lightning may also experience vision loss, cataracts and hearing loss.

  • In the case of dry thunderstorms, rain does not reach the ground and evaporates instead. However, lightning from these storms can still reach the ground and can start wildfires.

Image by Michael D
Lightning Emergency Preparedness

What you should know about Severe Weather

  • Know what to do before, during, and after severe weather.

  • Create a communications plan with your family before severe weather hits.

  • Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.

  • Listen to local officials.

  • Check your insurance policies to ensure you have enough coverage.

  • Evacuate if advised by local authorities.

Learn more:

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