Although we don’t know when or where storms will strike, we can all be ready for natural disasters by taking time now to prepare. Knowing storm safety tips, having safety items on hand, and taking certain precautions can help reduce panic during any storm.

Here are some items and tips that are essential for storm safety:

Safety Kits and Checklists

  • Storm safety kits are the first step in being prepared for a storm.
  • Get trained in First Aid.
  • Review the thunderstorm safety checklist.
  • Basements are not the best shelter from tornadoes due to gas pipes and the chance of the roof falling in. Instead build an underground shelter away from the house.
  • Talk with your children about storm safety to reduce panic should one occur.
  • Make sure your pets have a designated safe space inside for any storm.

Safety Items

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radios are a huge help if the power goes out.
  • Easily-accessible flashlights should be on every level of your home.
  • Safe candles are helpful if the power is out for many days and you are out of batteries.
  • Get every member of the family a pair of water-resistant boots.

Extra Precautions

  • Before going on a vacation, unplug all electrical appliances.
  • Nail down roof shingles or use an adhesive to keep them from blowing away. If your shingles are non-seal down then put a little bit of roofing cement under each shingle.
  • Protect against electricity damage (or house fires) by installing two grounding rods at opposite corners of the house.
  • Trim or cut down any trees that could damage a home; even healthy ones can fall.
  • Install storm windows.
  • When a storm is coming, close shutters, board windows, or tape the inside of large windows with an”X” pattern, it only takes that much masking tape to help windows resist cracking.
  • If a tornado watch is in effect, crack open all windows.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area get familiar with the ins and outs of flood insurance.
  • Winterize your vehicle(s) before winter storms start rolling through so you won’t be stranded in the cold.
  • Prevent water pipes from freezing.
  • For winter storms buy non-clumping cat litter and sprinkle it on steps, sidewalks, and driveways to make them less slippery.
  • Install snow fences in rural areas to prevent drifting snow.