How to Stay Safe and Prepared for Severe Storms

 A Guide to Protect Yourself and Your Property from the Dangers of Extreme Weather

Severe storms can strike at any time, especially during the summer months when the heat and humidity create favorable conditions for thunderstorms. These storms can bring damaging winds, hail, lightning, heavy rain, and even tornadoes. They can cause sporadic damage and power outages across the region, as well as pose a threat to your life and safety.

How can you stay safe and prepared for severe storms? What should you do before, during, and after a storm? In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with some tips and resources to help you cope with extreme weather.

Before a storm: Plan ahead and stay informed

The best way to protect yourself and your property from severe storms is to plan ahead and stay informed. Here are some steps you can take before a storm hits:

  • Know the difference between a watch and a warning. A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop in your area. A severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm has been detected by radar or reported by spotters and is moving toward your location. You should take immediate action to protect yourself and your property when a warning is issued.

  • Have an emergency kit ready. Your emergency kit should include items such as water, non-perishable food, flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, medications, cash, important documents, and phone chargers. You should also have a list of emergency contacts and a plan for how to communicate with your family and friends in case of a power outage or cell phone service disruption.

  • Secure your property. You should trim any dead or weak branches from trees near your home or car, as they can fall and cause damage or injury during a storm. You should also secure any outdoor furniture, trash cans, or other objects that can be blown away by strong winds. If you have time, you can also cover your windows with plywood or storm shutters to prevent them from breaking due to hail or flying debris.

  • Stay away from windows, doors, and skylights. If you are indoors when a storm approaches, you should stay away from windows, doors, and skylights, as they can shatter or be blown in by the wind. You should also avoid using electrical appliances or corded phones, as they can conduct electricity from lightning strikes.

During a storm: Seek shelter and stay safe

If you are caught in a severe storm, you should seek shelter and stay safe until the storm passes. Here are some tips on what to do during a storm:

  • Seek shelter in a sturdy building. The safest place to be during a severe storm is inside a sturdy building that has walls and a roof. You should avoid shelters that are made of metal or have metal roofs, as they can attract lightning. You should also avoid buildings that have large open spaces or high ceilings, such as barns, warehouses, or auditoriums, as they can collapse due to strong winds.

  • If you are in a car, drive to the nearest shelter. If you are driving when a storm hits, you should try to drive to the nearest shelter as quickly and safely as possible. You should avoid driving through flooded roads, as they can sweep your car away or stall your engine. You should also avoid driving under overpasses or bridges, as they can collapse or be hit by flying debris.

  • If you are outside, find the lowest spot possible. If you are outside and cannot reach a shelter in time, you should find the lowest spot possible and lie down flat on the ground. You should avoid open fields, hilltops, trees, power lines, metal fences, or bodies of water, as they can increase your risk of being struck by lightning or hit by flying debris.

  • If you hear thunder, go indoors. Thunder is a sign that lightning is nearby. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the center of a storm. Therefore, if you hear thunder, you should go indoors immediately. You should stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after the last thunderclap.

After a storm: Check for damage and injuries

After a storm has passed, you should check for any damage or injuries that may have occurred during the storm. Here are some things you should do after a storm:

  • Check yourself and others for injuries. If you or anyone else is injured during a storm, you should call 911 or seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also check on your neighbors and pets to see if they need any help.

  • Check your property for damage. If your property has been damaged by the storm, you should take pictures and document the damage for insurance purposes. You should also contact your insurance company to file a claim and get the repair process started. You should avoid touching any downed power lines, broken glass, or sharp objects, as they can cause electrocution or injury.

  • Check the weather forecast for more storms. Sometimes, severe storms can be followed by more storms in the same day or the next day. You should check the weather forecast regularly to see if there are any more storms in your area. You should also be prepared to repeat the steps above if another storm hits.


  • Q: What are some signs of a severe storm?

  • A: Some signs of a severe storm are dark clouds, strong winds, heavy rain, hail, thunder, and lightning.

  • Q: What are some dangers of a severe storm?

  • A: Some dangers of a severe storm are flash floods, power outages, fallen trees, flying debris, lightning strikes, and tornadoes.

  • Q: How can I get alerts for severe weather in my area?

  • A: You can get alerts for severe weather in your area by signing up for emergency notifications from your local government or weather service. You can also download weather apps on your smartphone or tablet that can send you push notifications or text messages when there is a severe weather warning or watch in your area.


Severe storms can be unpredictable and dangerous, but you can stay safe and prepared by following the tips and steps in this article. You should plan ahead and stay informed before a storm, seek shelter and stay safe during a storm, and check for damage and injuries after a storm. By doing so, you can protect yourself and your property from the hazards of extreme weather.

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