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Avoid Future Tragedies Like Branson by Planning Ahead for Severe Weather Risks


Avoid Future Tragedies Like Branson by Planning Ahead for Severe Weather Risks

AccuWeather Expert Says Proactive Weather Safety Plan Must be Priority to Protect People, Prevent Loss of Life

PR Newswire

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., July 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- AccuWeather, along with the rest of the world, watched with horror the disturbing images of the 'Ride the Ducks' tour boat tossed about like a toy before sinking in Table Lake in Branson, Missouri last week. This dreadful incident, which tragically claimed the lives of 17 people, including nine members of one family, serves as a reminder that proactive weather safety planning must be a priority for people and business to prevent loss of life and reduce risk from hazardous weather.

Emergency workers patrol an area Friday, July 20, 2018, near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in at least 13 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)  - note: photo credit must be included

The storm in Branson was accurately predicted by both the government weather services and America's weather industry.  The first distress call was logged at 7:09 pm CDT, but as early as 6:32 pm the National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm warnings with predicted wind gusts up to 60 mph for the area through 7:30 pm. Even 12 minutes before the first NWS warning, and more than 45 minutes before the first distress call, AccuWeather warned its clients in the area at 6:20 pm of wind gusts up to 70 mph for the time period 6:40 pm through 7:30 pm local time.  The event occurred within that period. At 7:02 pm, the NWS raised its predicted winds to 70 mph wind warnings.

Government weather forecasters and those in the weather industry provided ample and actionable weather insights in plenty of time to prevent damage to property, harm, and most importantly, this terrible loss of life. What happened in Branson, is a heartbreaking example of what can go wrong – and how quickly it can go wrong – when severe weather strikes. Companies must have a predetermined and coordinated weather-related safety action plan and a trusted partner to help them know when to enact it.

Often, sheltering options for businesses – especially entertainment companies that cater to the public - are limited in the face of hazardous weather threats.  At this day and age, these businesses have no excuse for not being prepared in advance and not being aware of the severe weather risks for every facility they operate, whether those risks involve sudden severe weather events, thunder and lightning storms, wind, snow, ice, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, or a wide range of other life-threatening weather events.

"Companies can and must plan accordingly to keep people safe and out of harm's way and to protect property and assets and minimize their liability," said Jonathan Porter, Vice President and General Manager, AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions.  "Do not assume weather is not a threat just because it is an unusual risk for a particular location or season, or because you have been in business for decades without a severe weather-related incident. Take, for example, tornadoes which impacted businesses this February in Kentucky and June's strong tornado in Pennsylvania, which AccuWeather also predicted more accurately and earlier than any other source."

For companies in business today, Porter advises weather must be a factor in your contingency planning. "Meteorological experts that specialize in serving companies and public venues, such as AccuWeather, which provides forecasts and warnings with Superior Accuracy™, can help clarify the severe weather risks that impact businesses and help them develop a safety plan that evaluates all potential impacts specifically tailored to their people, their business and their location," Porter said.

Once businesses have such a plan, they must ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and are empowered to act when hazardous weather threatens. Businesses must also be confident they are getting the best weather insights possible to activate that plan at the right time to ensure safety, and that decision makers must pay attention to that information, if and when it becomes necessary. 

Since 2014, AccuWeather has partnered with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a key Weather-Ready Nation initiative as one of its first program Ambassadors to help build preparedness and resilience to extreme weather, water and climate events. Working together, this government and private weather industry partnership provides critical resources and weather information to benefit infrastructure and businesses that operate on a large scale. This collaboration ensures the best information is available to the public and all businesses, not just those that operate at large scale.

"I, along with my colleagues in the weather forecasting community, are frustrated about what transpired in Branson because the weather was known, and its effects understood," said Porter.

Accurate, constantly updated weather forecasts and warnings are available today on every conceivable electronic device and platform, including the one almost all of us carry around in our pockets and pocketbooks. Porter urges people to download the AccuWeather app today.

"For the sake of safety and especially on behalf of those you love, act today," Porter said.  "Know the severe weather risks that affect you at home and work, develop a clear plan for how to safeguard yourself, your property and the people you care about when severe weather hits. And then, in advance, make sure you have access to the best weather insights, so you can activate that plan and make the best decisions possible when severe weather is a factor."

About AccuWeather, Inc. and

More than 1.5 billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. AccuWeather provides hourly and Minute by Minute™ forecasts with Superior Accuracy™ with customized content and engaging video presentations available on smartphones, tablets, free wired and mobile Internet sites, connected TVs, and Internet appliances, as well as via radio, television, and newspapers. Established in 1962 by Founder, President, and Chairman Dr. Joel N. Myers--a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society who was recognized as one of the top entrepreneurs in American history by Entrepreneur Magazine's Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs--AccuWeather also delivers a wide range of highly customized enterprise solutions to media, business, government, and institutions, as well as news, weather content, and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites.

For more information contact:
Eston Martz / 814.235.8622 /
Rhonda Seaton / 814.235.8555 /

Geoffrey Phelps / 973.588.2000 /
Jamie Paster / 973.588.2000 /


AccuWeather (PRNewsfoto/AccuWeather)

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