Summer is here, and with warmer weather comes the greater chance for severe weather. According to NOAA, over 80 thunderstorms happen on average each day during the summer season. Humid air gets superheated throughout the day, which results in pop-up thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening. These storms can be brief, but deadly. It’s important that your home is prepared to face the onslaught of stormy weather and that you and your family know what to do during severe weather. Here are five things you can do to prepare.
Stay Up to Date with Weather Alerts
The first step to prepare for severe weather is by staying informed and alert to the possibility of severe weather. The best way to stay informed is by checking your local forecast. Local news sites will give up-to-the-minute details on your area’s weather condition and will immediately raise the flag when their forecast models indicate severe weather is on the horizon. Additionally, there are several apps that will alert you as soon as severe weather is reported in your area. By staying alert, you are less likely to be caught off guard by severe weather and be better prepared for when it approaches.
Batten Down the Hatches
If you know that severe weather is coming your way, then you should take some preventative measures to reduce the amount of damage to your home. Stormy weather can bring strong winds and heavy rain, so remove items from your home’s exterior that can be easily blown away by winds, such as flags, hanging plants, or pool toys. Check to make sure that your windows are secured and fitted with protective storm screens. The more steps you take to prepare now, the less distracted you will be when the storm comes.
Locate a Safe Space for Your Family
When severe weather is imminent, you need to quickly get to a safe location in your home. Basements are preferable, especially if your area is under a tornado warning. If your home does not have a basement, you should remain on the first floor in a central room to your house, away from doors and windows. This will provide you with the most cover in the case of severe weather that’s packing heavy winds and tornados.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Another important step in severe weather preparation is having everything you need on hand when a storm approaches. That’s why Ready.gov has their own site dedicated to building the right emergency kit for you and your family. Kits should include anything you may need in the moments during and following severe weather such as an emergency radio, flashlights, a first-aid kit, and any medications your family needs. Having this kit already tucked away in your home’s safe location will ensure that you are ready when severe weather hits.
As you go about preparing your home, you should not forget to mentally prepare yourself for the moment when severe weather strikes. You need to be ready to act fast and get your family into your home’s safe location. An intense storm can be a frightening moment for a child. As a parent, you need to remain calm, cool, and collected during the storm to help them get through the storm. There are several ways you can help ease their fears as you wait out the storm. You might even prepare some fun activities such as coloring books, a scavenger hunt, or music to play that will distract them from the rough weather outside.
Fortunately, the chances of your home experiencing a worst-case scenario remain slim. It’s still important to remain prepared for the worst to happen and to have a plan of action if that time ever does come. The best way to handle an emergency in the heat of the moment is to prepare when the next storm is beyond the horizon.