5 Ways To Stay Safe From Summer Storms In Tornado Alley
What are your first thoughts when you hear that a summer storm is coming? Are your first thoughts getting your car in the garage and pulling out the flashlights? We get it! But it’s essential that you take a few extra steps to keep you and your family safe from the damages summer storms can cause. So read on as we discuss some steps you can take to feel prepared, especially if you live in a tornado-prone area.
Prepare For Summer Storms In 5 Ways
Summer storms can be really devastating if you aren’t prepared. That’s why we’ve come up with a short list of how you can prepare for tornadoes, thunderstorms, hailstorms, and more.
Set Up An Emergency Kit
An emergency kit doesn’t have to be super complicated, but it’s important that it’s easy to access and everyone in the family knows where it is. There are so many things you can include in it, but we definitely suggest a flashlight, extra batteries, and a battery-powered radio. Since large thunderstorms are typically the single most common cause of power outages, you want to make sure you’re prepared in the event you have no power.
Though power outages can resolve in a few hours, they might last for several days. Here are a few other things you might consider adding to your emergency kit:
- Ready-to-eat packaged food
- Portable water
- Propane or gas-powered camping stove
- First aid supplies
- Emergency cash (in case local areas aren’t able to run credit cards during an outage)
- Games or puzzles and toys for your kids
It might also be a good idea to store your essential documents in your emergency kit. For example, suppose a severe storm strikes your house. In that case, you want to make sure you have everything you might need, including deeds or titles, insurance information, birth certificates, social security cards, and anything else that would be difficult to replace.
Listen for Tornado Watches and Warnings
Does your state experience severe thunderstorms? Large thunderstorms are often the result of a “supercell” — an extensive storm system with an updraft. These supercells can lead to significant destructive tornadoes. If you live in a high-risk area, every thunderstorm has the ability to develop into a dangerous tornado. The best way to be prepared is to keep an eye on the weather and listen for tornado watches and warnings. The difference between a watch and a warning can be confusing. We break it down for you here:
A tornado watch is issued by local weather authorities when conditions might lead to a tornado formation, like when a large supercell shows indications that it might funnel. A look means that you don’t need to take immediate action, but you should be ready in case the weather escalates further.
A tornado warning means that there is already a developed tornado that might affect your area. A warning means that a tornado has been sited by either a weather radar or in person. A warning means you should take shelter immediately, preferably in a storm shelter with your emergency kit.
Don’t Forget Outdoor Preparation
Another way you can prepare your family and your home from summer storms is to take care of the exterior of your property. Move your car to a safe location, in a place that won’t flood. Secure your patio furniture if you can; you don’t want the wind to blow furniture into your or your neighbors' windows. Consider investing in window coverings so that glass doesn’t blow around your home.
It might also be a good idea to inspect the trees around your property. Walk around your home's exterior and note any dangerous limbs and trees that might cause damage. Consider trimming potential branches or calling in a professional for assistance.
Have a Family Action Plan
One of the best pieces of advice we can give is to talk to your family. Then, when an emergency strikes, you don’t want everyone to be running around scattered and panicked. Everyone should know where to go and what to do to stay safe in the bad weather.
Set up a meeting with your family and find a way to create a communication and action plan. This could mean walkie-talkies or apps that can help you locate your family and communicate with them during an intense storm.
Make sure you decide what to do in a variety of scenarios. For example, should you meet at the nearest tornado shelter? What circumstances would indicate it’s safe to come home? What supplies should each member grab on their way to a storm shelter? Establishing an action plan early on will help everyone stay focused, calm, and safe.
Have A Shelter Prepared
It goes without saying that the best place to be in the event of a major storm is in a secure and lab-tested storm shelter. If you don’t have a shelter, try to get to a part of your home that is on the ground level or underground, but away from windows.
Safe rooms and storm shelters don’t just protect you from summer storms. They can also be a safe haven from electricity, structural damage due to the high winds, and even home invasions. When the weather turns sour, and tornado sirens blare, it’s time to take shelter. It’s a good idea to have a radio or something similar inside so that you can check the weather periodically, so you know when it’s safe to come out. At Valley Storm Shelters, we have various options to fit your family. Check them out here.
Learn More About Your Options From Valley Storm Shelters
We know what maximum safety means for your family at Valley Storm Shelters. Our goal is to provide the safest and most reliable storm shelters and panic rooms available today. We’d love to make sure every detail of your safe room suits your needs and makes your whole family feel safe and comfortable. Want to learn more about purchasing a storm shelter? Give us a call at 256-890-4265, or reach out to us online. We’d love to answer your questions and give you more advice on staying safe no matter the weather.