Severe weather can happen anytime, so you must keep an eye on Mother Nature. But you don’t have to wait until the threat is imminent. There are steps you can take to keep your family safe.

While meteorologists do their best to predict the weather pattern, they don’t always get it right. You don’t have to curse them if you’re at the beach and then it starts to rain – the weather follows its rules. In severe storms, the weather department will give a few days of warning. Let’s look at the techniques you can adopt in case of a devastating weather pattern.

But first things first, what is severe weather?

These are weather conditions that disrupt your normal daily activities. Sometimes, there may be destruction or even loss of lives. Severe weather can include thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornado, floods, extreme heat, or earthquakes. To ensure you don’t get caught off-guard, you should prepare well.

Know the categories

Severe weather is classified as warned or instant. Warned severe weather may include heavy rainfall, hurricanes, tsunamis, or snowfall. On the other hand, instant weather conditions give little to no warning. They can include flash flooding, tornados, and earthquakes.

Familiarize yourself with threats that can strike your region

You should know the likelihood of severe weather being experienced in your area. For instance, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a tornado or hurricane in New York. This information will tell you what to do when there’s bad weather, where to go and what to expect. If you want to stay up-to-date with the current weather, you can listen to NOAA weather radio. You should also check the forecast to ensure you’re not at risk of severe weather. When you keep tabs with the weather patterns, you’ll have enough time to take action. And depending on where you live, some communities will have sirens. It gets better if you tune in to severe weather alerts.

Prepare ahead of time

Severe weather can hit your area without notice, so you should know what to prepare for. Your emergency supplies should include non-perishable foods (2 weeks supply), freshwater, flashlights, etc. Since the emergency can last for a week or longer, you should ensure you have enough supplies. This will reduce wastage and allows you to plan for storage space.

Still, you can buy fresh food that can last longer without refrigeration. For instance, fruits that you eat raw have a longer shelf life. In addition to that, you should have fresh drinking water.

If the air conditioning system is out and you need to keep warm, you need extra blankets and clothing. You should keep them in vacuum-sealed bags to ensure they are dry and fresh. And if the power goes out, you should have a generator in place. This will allow you to operate heaters, sump pumps, and other appliances to keep your family safe. Since the generators come in different sizes, be sure to check the one that suits your needs.

Secondly, you must create a communications plan. For battery-operated radios, you should ensure you have batteries of all sizes. Don’t forget other battery-operated items like radios, flashlights, and portable heaters.

If the family gets separated due to severe weather, where will you meet? You should pick a safe room in the house with no windows, a storm stellar, or the basement. Make sure you practice what to do when they see the damaging wind or thunderstorm approaching. Another important tip is to keep the shoes close in case of a tornado or hurricane. The last thing you want is to be caught barefoot as you crawl out of the debris. However, you should not delay taking cover when searching for your valuables. It’s better to come out alive than to be caught by the severe weather.

Another way of preparing for unforeseen weather is to stock your emergency cabinet. While you may not be able to assemble the tent right away, it will provide shelter if the house is blown away. Of course, it will give some privacy when you’re around the neighbors.

If a hurricane or an earthquake is powerful enough to make it to your city, preparation is key. The severe weather condition may not only knock out the power lines but also cause structural damage. This is common in cities like Oklahoma and Texas. Similarly, if you live in an area prone to flooding, you should take the necessary steps before the rain starts.

What to do during severe weather

Since severe weather can occur anytime, you don’t have enough time to prepare for what might occur next. The best you can do is protect yourself. Even with ample notice, things can get out of hand. The last thing you want is to get caught up just like the unprepared people. If you’re indoors, stay away from doors, windows, and fireplaces. And if you’re advised to evacuate, make sure you follow the instructions to the later.

Just take the emergency kit and seek refuge. The kit should include non-perishable food items, flashlights, drinking water, gas, and batteries. Include anything you might need if you lose power for a couple of days. If you’re in the car, avoid stopping on unstable slopes, power lines, and areas prone to flooding.

If where you stay is occasionally hit by hurricanes, pay attention to the forecasts or warnings. Because the high winds can be very damaging, you should move to higher ground. If you live in a low-lying area, don’t go to the water to watch the storm. This is because most fatalities occur as a result of storm surges and you don’t want to be caught in the large waves. Once the storm is over, there’re large winds that can last for a couple of minutes. When they pass, they might return in the opposite direction with even greater force.

After the severe weather

Once the threat is over, you should take time to evaluate the damage. Check if you still have running water but you should never attempt to use electricity. Next, check all the rooms, doors, and windows. If there are minor damages, you can repair them. After that, go to the garage and check the status of your car.

Lastly, go around the neighborhood and ensure everyone is safe. If there’s any missing person, you should call the authorities for help. Now that the storm is over, the cleanup process can begin. With time, life will get back to normal.