How should I prepare for storms and severe weather?


Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes and floods requires specific safety precautions. Still, you can follow many of the same steps for all extreme weather events. You should have on hand:

  • a battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA weather radio and extra batteries for both
  • an emergency evacuation plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
  • a list of important personal information, including: telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends; insurance and property information; telephone numbers of utility companies; and medical information
  • a first aid kit including: prescription medication; hydrogen peroxide; antibiotic ointment; over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and diarrhea medicine; and bandages and dressings for injuries
  • a three- to five-day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • personal hygiene items
  • blankets or sleeping bags
  • an emergency kit in your car
Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek appropriate shelter as soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your home.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.