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Tornadoes in Massachusetts, Michigan Reminder That Tragedy Can Strike Anywhere

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Several years ago, I was climbing Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. At the base of the summit is a warning placard cautioning hikers that lightning has struck the mountain in every month of the year, not just during traditional stormy-weather months. The sign is a reminder that bad things can happen even when you least expect them.

Horrific storms have pummeled the Plains States in recent months, resulting in catastrophic property damage and loss of life. Powerful storms in Massachusetts and Michigan illustrate how this danger is not limited to Tornado Alley. In Michigan, devastating straight-line winds and a possible tornado are responsible for leaving as many as 100,000 residents without power throughout the state. Tornadoes are responsible for at least 4 deaths in Massachusetts this week, and the total cost of this disaster is still being calculated. Nationwide, this is a tragic start to a storm season that is just beginning.

While we remember the lives lost in Alabama, Missouri, and Massachusetts and lend our support to all those affected by these storms, we should also be preparing to respond to such a disaster in own neighborhoods.

The unexpected can and, with alarming frequency, does happen – taking a few simple steps can help you and your family stay safe.