Ready for Severe Weather? (Part 1)

Severe weather terms fall into two categories. A watch indicates conditions are right for strong storms to develop. Watch the sky and tune into a local weather station. Warings are more critical and signal that it's time to take shelter. Severe weather is fast approaching or already occurring.

Make personal safety your top concern when a weather event is in the area. Teach household members where to take refuge during a tornado. A basement or low-level interior room without windows offers the best protection. Abandon your mobile home and take shelter in a storm cellar or nearby building. Hold periodic tornado drills so household members know how to respond to a weather emergenncy.

Regularly evaluate and address home maintenance issues to minimize weather-related property damage. Trim overhanging or weak branches that may fall on your home or exterior structures. Keep gutters free of debris. Check the roof for floppy shingles and signs of wear. Repair or replace the roof as needed. Securely reattach loose siding. Consider installing a sump pump with battery backup to guard against basement water overflow. Strong wind can blow patio furniture and outdoor equipment into the dwelling. Move things inside before the storm if possible. Confirm entry doors, windows, and garage doors are tight and able to withstand severe weather.

Falling limbs, blowing debris, and hail may damage vehicles parked outside. Move your car to a secure, covered location when storms are in the area.