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What in the World Do Bears Have To Do with Severe Weather?

Jean-Stéfane (J.S.) Bergeron

June 18, 2024

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I was recently invited to write an article for the National Weather Service (NWS) about preparing for and being ready for severe summer weather. So, why in the world would I discuss bears in an article about severe weather written for the NWS?

Every year, severe weather kills. In the U.S., last year (2023), fourteen people were killed by lightning, seventy-nine from flash flooding and ninety-three were killed in wildfires.

In contrast, only four people were killed in bear attacks in the U.S. and Canada.

Much is made of the risk of bears in wilderness or backcountry areas. Many of us carry bear spray, travel in groups, use food caches, or even avoid areas where the risk from bears is perceived as too great. Yet, so many of us need to do more to manage the risk presented by severe weather.

I’m not suggesting that the need to be Bear-Smart is overstated. You must continue keeping a clean campsite, carrying bear spray where appropriate (or required), and practicing sound bear practices when outdoors for your sake and that of bears. After all, too often, the impact of human-bear conflict is born by the bears, but that’s a discussion for another day.

The article encourages us to consider how well-informed and prepared we are regarding the severe weather we will encounter during our summer adventures. Of course, it also emphasizes the importance of being able to receive severe weather alerts wherever your adventures take you.

You can read the full article on the NWS Weather-Ready website.

CellAdiona Alert is a proud partner of the NWS Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ program, a program that plays a crucial role in educating the public about the importance of planning for weather when enjoying the great outdoors.

Updated: June 21, 2024

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