Severe Weather Preparedness - Part 1

1. Review severe weather terms.

  • A watch means atmospheric conditions are unstable. Be alert for strong winds, tornadoes, lightning, hail, or heavy rainfall that may develop.
  • Warnings are more serious and indicate severe weather is about to happen or already occurring. Take shelter right away.
  • Do not be caught unaware when it comes to severe weather. Stay informed by setting your cell phone to receive weather alerts and secure a weather radio with battery backup.

2. Personal safety is most important when severe weather occurs.

  • Weather emergencies can develop quickly, leaving very little time to react. Create and practice a severe weather response plan. Everyone in the household needs to know in advance where to take shelter. Identify a safe place where family members gather when strong storms occur.
  • Responsible family members should be able to turn off water, gas, and electricity if necessary after an emergency.
  • Establish a meeting place outside the home where separated family members will reunite.
  • Hold periodic drills to review and evaluate the effectiveness of your response plan.
  • Place a disaster supply kit in your safe shelter space. Include items like a first ai kit, battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, bottled water, and spare keys.

3. Stay on top of property maintenance to minimize storm damage.

  • Examine your home, other structures, and grounds to identify potential problems.
  • Trim weak branches, trees, and shrubs that could fall, causing damage.
  • Confirm entry doors, windows, and garage doors are secure and property installed.
  • Evaluate the condition of your roof and repair or replace shingles as needed.
  • Reattach loose siding.
  • Protect vehicles from falling limbs, blowing debris, or hail by parking inside a secure, covered location when storms are nearby.