Thunderstorm Safety: Be prepared for thunderstorms and severe weather.

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Thunderstorms are dangerous storms with lightning. A lightning strike can kill you. Thunderstorms often bring powerful winds that can knock down trees, power lines, and mobile homes, intense rainfall that causes flash floods, tornadoes, lightning strikes that can spark fires, as well as damaging hail.

But we can take action to prepare. Prepare now to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home.

What Should You Do Before a Thunderstorm?

Identify a Sturdy Building and Practice Drills

  • You need to get inside a sturdy building before a thunderstorm hits. A sturdy building is a structure with walls and a foundation. Once you have identified a sturdy building, plan to shelter in the basement or a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level to provide additional protection from high winds. Plan to stay inside until weather forecasts indicate it is safe to leave.
  • Mobile, manufactured, trailer homes, and recreational vehicles (RVs) are not safe in high winds. If you live in one of these structures, you need to identify a sturdy building nearby that you can get to quickly.
  • Practice drills with everyone in your household, so everyone knows where to go and what to do before a thunderstorm hits.

Plan to Stay Connected

  • Sign up for free emergency alerts from your local government.
  • Plan to monitor local weather and news.
  • Have a backup battery or a way to charge your cell phone.
  • In case of a power outage, have a battery-powered radio.
  • Understand the types of alerts that you may receive and have a plan to respond:
    • A WATCH means Be Prepared! 
    • A WARNING means Take Action! 

Learn Emergency Skills to survive a major Thunderstorm

  • Learn First Aid and CPR
  • Utilities may be offline. Be prepared to live without power, gas, and water. Plan for your electrical needs, including cell phones and medical equipment.

Protect Your Home during the Thunderstorm

  • Make a list of items outside your home you will need to tie down or put away so that they don’t blow away or fly through a window during high winds. When a High Wind, Severe Thunderstorm, or Tornado Watch, is issued, immediately secure these items to avoid damage or injury once the wind starts picking up.
  • Secure objects that would be unsafe to bring inside, such as gas grills and propane tanks.
  • Trim or remove trees close enough to fall on your home.
  • Keep drains, gutters, and downspouts clean.
  • Find out if your home is prone to flooding. If it is, consider:
    • Installing a sump pump with battery backup.
    • Elevating the heating system, water heater, and electrical panel.
  • Review your home insurance policy. Check to see if you are covered for flood damage.

Click here to Download the Thunderstorm Safety Checklist and read the full article from the Red Cross

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