Personal safety and readiness for severe storms are essential for disaster preparedness. Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and other severe storms can endanger lives and cause significant property damage. While severe storms don’t always follow a predictable path, preparing well in advance can prevent injuries and reduce the damage they cause. The following are some steps individuals can take for their personal safety during severe storms:

  1. Stay informed. The National Weather Service (NWS) tracks severe weather and broadcasts watches and warnings regularly. Weather apps and emergency alert systems can provide up-to-the-minute notifications and recommendations for personal safety.
  2. Create a household emergency plan. Emergency preparedness plans can guide family members and roommates during every stage of severe storms. Every household member should know possible evacuation routes, meeting points, and communication methods. Knowing this information is especially critical if a disaster strikes when family members aren’t together or can’t travel together.
  3. Stay connected with family and friends. People are more connected than ever, thanks to smartphones. However, it’s easy to lose track of family members and friends if the power goes out, as smartphones can only work for so long without electricity. Portable chargers and power banks can keep devices running until the power returns.
  4. Build a go bag. A well-stocked go bag includes essential items individuals may need if they must leave their home or can’t return to it quickly. Water, non-perishable food, prescriptions and frequently used over-the-counter medications, a first aid kit, portable chargers, flashlights, batteries, toiletry items for personal hygiene, and important documents.
  5. Protect the house and other personal property. Inspect personal property and repair any problems to ensure it can withstand severe storms. Bring any outdoor furniture or lightweight yard fixtures indoors to prevent them from becoming flying projectiles. Reinforce windows with plywood or hurricane shutters to protect them from strong winds and debris.
  6. Create a safety zone. Designate a safe area within the home to shelter in place. Basements are usually the best option, but individuals can also use an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Some storms may require more robust shelters, such as tornadoes.
  7. Protect Important Documents. People aren’t usually thinking about their medical records or insurance policies during high-stress situations. However, leaving these documents behind can create bottlenecks and impasses, especially if the storm destroys them. Keeping these documents in a waterproof container or backing them up digitally can help people access them quickly. Some other examples of important documents include various forms of identification and financial information.

Preparedness is fundamental for personal safety during severe storms. Reviewing and updating emergency plans, supplies, and documents can help individuals respond efficiently without panic or delay during sudden weather events. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about preparing for severe weather.