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.