Weather Safety Tips

Severe WeatherFor Americans, preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing an emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. FEMA is a great resource when it comes to emergency preparedness.

Weather Severity
This preparedness guide explains thunderstorms and related hazards and suggests life-saving actions you can take. With this information, you can recognize severe weather, develop a plan, and be ready to act when threatening weather approaches. Remember that your safety and the safety of those in your care is up to you.


  • Causes an average of 55 to 60 fatalities and 400 injuries a year.
  • Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms.
  • Costs more than $1 billion in insured losses each year.
  • Cause an average of 60 to 65 fatalities and 1,500 injuries a year.
  • Can produce wind speeds in excess of 200 mile per hour.
  • Can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over a distance of 50 miles.

Straight-Line Winds

  • Can exceed 125 miles per hour.
  • Can equal the destruction caused by a tornado.
  • Are extremely dangerous to aviation.

Other Potential Natural Disasters

Flash floods are the number one cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms, with more than 90 fatalities a year. Hail can cause severe property / crop damage ($1 billion) and can be greater than five inches in diameter.

Storms develop quickly and can occur with little to no warning. Heavy winds and lightning caused by storms can cause extended power outages, uprooted trees, landslides, and downed or broken utility lines. Additionally, heavy rains can cause flash floods.

​How To Deal With Weather

Familiarize yourself with the following terms to stay alert and prepared:
  • Tornado Watch - conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes.
  • Tornado Warning - a tornado has been reported by spotters, or National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists have determined that one is about to form in the next several minutes. Go to a substantial shelter immediately.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch - conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms containing large hail and damaging wind.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning - large hail and/or damaging wind has been reported by spotters, or is about to develop. Go to a substantial shelter immediately.

During the Storm

  • Avoid handling metal, electrical equipment, telephones, bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks because electric current from lightning can travel through wires and pipes.
  • If you are outside, take cover in a stable facility. Avoid taking shelter under trees.
  • Tune in to local TV / radio channels for emergency advisories and instructions.
  • Avoid walking through water that has seeped into your home for it may contain hazardous materials.
  • If you are asked to evacuate your home, follow instructions given to you by emergency personnel.
  • Call your local public works department or village hall to report fallen trees, tree limbs, or clogged catch basins.
  • Call your local public works department or village hall to report flooded streets.
  • Avoid downed power lines and broken gas lines. Report them to 911.

After the Storm

  • Assess your immediate environment.
  • Report fallen trees, flooded streets, or damaged public utilities to the proper department.
  • Stay tuned to local weather stations for updated information.
Remember to be proactive during the extreme weather seasons. Being prepared will help you brave the storm.