Severe Weather

While no one can gauge the severity of a storm before it strikes, there are steps you can take to reduce its impact on your property. Here are some prevention tips based on years of industry data about the damage caused by severe storms:

Warning or Watch?

A storm watch from the local or national weather bureau means there is a chance that a hurricane, tornado or thunderstorm may occur in a given area. In contrast, a storm warning means that storm activity has already been reported in the area. In either situation, it's important to take the necessary safety measures:

During a Storm Watch

  • Stay tuned to your local radio or TV station.
  • Fill fuel tank in the car.
  • Secure watercraft.
  • Maintain a supply of canned goods.
  • Refill prescription medicine.
  • Make sure radios and flashlights have fresh batteries, and keep spare batteries at hand.
  • Secure lawn furniture.
  • Tape, board or shutter windows and doors.
  • Clear rain gutters and down spouts.

During a Storm Warning

  • Stay tuned to your local radio or TV station.
  • Move valuables to upper floors.
  • Fill bathtub; fill containers with drinking water.
  • Turn up refrigerator to maximum cold and open only when necessary.
  • Fill coolers with ice.
  • Use the telephone for emergency calls only.
  • Stay indoors and away from windows.
  • Unplug nonessential appliances.

During an Evacuation

  • Shut off water and electricity at mains.
  • If possible, bring important documents and essential valuables with you.
  • Lock the house.
  • Follow evacuation procedures.
  • Listen to the car radio during evacuation.

After the Storm

  • Check for gas leaks upon returning home.
  • Report utility damage.
  • Discard spoiled food and water.

Next: Water Damage