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As we head into the hot summer months, health officials warn of the dangers the warm weather presents.
KSMU's Matt Petcoff reports...
Summer weather often means rising temperatures and thunderstorms.
Flash flooding, lightning and tornados all add to the danger presented by the extreme heat.
Put all of this together and you have a deadly combination... causing 33 deaths and more than 12-hundred injuries in 2006 alone.
Bill Davis is chief meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Springfield.
With 25 of last year's weather related deaths coming from heat exhaustion, he says you have to pay close attention to what your body is telling you during heat waves.
Davis says because most people are fascinated or scared by tornados and large thunderstorms, they don't realize that the heat is mother natures most deadly killer.
He also says the second most threatening weather phenomenon, lighting, can be tough to avoid during the summer.
Safety and Health officials say your best defense against weather related injuries and deaths are to be alert and prepared.
Simple things like staying hydrated, using sunscreen and moving indoors when the weather looks threatening can all help you stay safe.