Tips On How To Prepare For Severe Weather Conditions
No matter where you live or work, you can be affected by severe weather. From snowstorms and floods to tornadoes and hurricanes, it's always wise to keep a keen eye on Mother Nature.
Frankly, just a little preparation can go a very long way when it comes to keeping your family and loved ones safe. Read on to learn how to prepare for severe weather conditions across several different climates.
Tips On How To Prepare For Severe Weather Conditions
Get Alerts For Severe Weather Events
Severe weather conditions can present themselves at any time. That’s why having the right information on hand is the first step you should take to stay prepared. For example, the Texas Department of Public Safety often posts weather alerts on its website. Local TV and radio stations also present forecasts every day, often multiple times throughout the day. Plus, with social media as prevalent as it is nowadays, there are many accounts that you can follow to stay updated wherever you are.
If you want to be extra informed about severe weather conditions, head to a sports & recreation store and purchase an NOAA weather radio. NOAA broadcasts are free and sent into the airwaves 24/7 by the US Government. Any time you hear the term “Severe Thunderstorm Watch,” “Warning,” or “Flash Flood Watch/Warning,” these decisions are being made by NOAA, and you’ll find out about them at the same time the news station does.
Prepare Your Home For Severe Weather
You can drastically reduce the damage caused by severe weather (floods, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes) by staying prepared at home. For example, you could start by trimming any trees with weak branches around your home. By doing this, you are reducing the likelihood that branches will fall on your house during a storm, consequently damaging the roof (a costly problem to have). Below are some other measures you can take to prepare your home for severe weather:
- Cover your windows with an extra layer of plywood if you suspect strong winds and/or hurricane-like weather
- Prepare for a power outage by having plenty of candles and flashlights. Often, storms damage power supply lines for long periods. If you live in a particularly storm-prone area, research residential power generators to keep you warm and comfortable while power access is being restored.
- Inspect your roof (or contact a professional to inspect your roof) to ensure that it is properly installed and in good condition - this is a smart measure to take both before and after severe weather season and individual weather events.
Have An Emergency Plan In Place For Severe Weather
An important step towards being ready for severe weather season is having a plan that includes an emergency meeting place for you and your family. An emergency meeting place can be in a storm cellar or on the lowest floor of your building, as long as there are no windows around. You should also store an emergency supply of food and water -- at least enough to last a few days. You can shop around for canned food, protein bars, non-perishable milk, and dried fruit.
Finally, be sure that you have a heavily outfitted first aid kit that has instructions on how to perform basic first aid procedures.
A common theme here is that you want to be able to take care of your family and friends in case any of them are injured during a severe storm, and having a well-equipped first aid kit is one of your best ways of accomplishing this.
In the spirit of the Boy Scouts, don’t wait until NOAA (mentioned above) issues an emergency alert to set up your plan. Be prepared! Start early to ensure that you have everything you need in time.
How Do I Prepare for Floods?
- Clear debris from your drains
- Repair damaged gutters
- Place sandbags or other barriers around your property
Heavy floods and storms have been known to cause significant water damage. Don’t worry, though. There are some simple tactics you can employ to get ready for a downpour. Start by clearing debris from your drains to prevent any blockages -- you want them working at their best! Repair any damaged gutters, too, as this will ensure that water drains away easily. And when the preparation isn’t enough for Mother Nature, as it occasionally is not, be sure to have a flood damage cleanup company on speed dial.
Caught up in severe weather? Here’s what you should do.
Even after adequate preparation, it is still possible to find yourself in the middle of an emergency weather situation. Read on to learn more about staying safe during these conditions.
Seek Shelter as Soon as You Can
Seek shelter in an interior room or on the lowest floor of your home. If you are in a mobile home or a car, take shelter in the nearest building. When inside, close any exterior doors and stay clear of the windows and outside walls. Be sure to not leave the shelter until conditions have returned to normal. Stay informed by purchasing an NOAA weather radio at your nearest sports and recreation store.
Avoid Walking and Driving Through Moving Water
If by any chance a storm catches you outside, avoid walking through flowing water as you risk drowning. Remember that six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet. And, when it comes to driving, you especially want to avoid rushing water.
Remember the slogan: “turn around, don’t drown!”
Stay on High Alert
Always be on the lookout for alerts from weather departments and the authorities. For example, the authorities may send out an alert advising people to leave their homes to head for a safer location if coastal flooding or a similar event is expected. Always act as advised to avoid injuries and potential life-threatening danger.
Call For Water Damage Help As Soon As You Can
If, for example, during a flood, the water levels in and around your home start rising, call for help immediately. Also, if you are able, be sure to check on your neighbors and those who may need special assistance to ensure that they are safe.
You can never be too ready for a severe weather event. Always stay prepared, pay attention to weather forecasts, refresh your emergency plan and talk to your friends and family about the safety measures they should take. Finally, after the conditions have improved, check for any damage on your home and have it handled by a professional. If you suspect water damage, call in a water damage restoration company to inspect your home and advise you further to avoid further damage and mold growth.