Are You Prepared to Weather a Severe Storm?

In 2013, there were 7 weather and climate disaster events with losses over $1 billion EACH across the U.S. – five from severe weather and tornadoes, one major flood event, and the western drought & heat wave.[i] No one can control what the weather will do in your area, so it’s important to make sure you and your family are prepared.

Communication Plan:Be Prepared Image Info Block

Creating a family communication plan is essential to every disaster plan. Your family may not be together when severe weather strikes, so it’s important to plan ahead on finding safe shelter, getting in contact with each other, and a plan to get you back together. Ready.gov has created some helpful templates on creating a communication plan for you and your family: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/34330.

Building an Emergency Supply Kit:

The need to seek shelter in your safe spot can come a moment’s notice, which means you won’t have time to gather up items to take with you. Building a disaster kit well in advance of impending severe weather can make it easy for you to have the supplies you need in the event of a disaster. For a list of recommended items to include in your kit, download the Emergency Supply List from FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/90354. Be sure to check your kit often and replace any items that have been used.

Severe Weather Preparedness:                            

When a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for your area it means that storms are likely to occur due to favorable atmospheric conditions or storm tracking. As long as the weather in your area is non-threatening, check to make sure any loose outdoor items are put away or secured to minimize damage or loss. Once a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued that means dangerous weather has been reported by spotters or weather radar and it’s time to consider moving to your safe spot with your weather radio. If you are outdoors when severe weather is approaching, seek shelter indoors immediately.

Lightning Safety:

The week of June 22-28 marks Lightening Safety week. With the spring and summer storm season already off to a busy start, it’s important to remind ourselves of the dangers associated with lightning.

First of all, there is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you can hear thunder then it’s likely you are within striking distance of the storm and it’s time to seek shelter indoors. Substantial buildings and hard-top vehicles are safe options, whereas rain or open park shelters, small sheds and open vehicles are not. Wait 30 minutes after you hear the last rumble of thunder before resuming your outdoor activities.[ii]

We hope you and your family stay safe during this severe weather season –  having an emergency plan in place and educating your family on severe weather safety are important steps to doing so. Regular review of your safety plan is key to make sure everyone in your family knows and understands what to do in a severe weather event. As always, AW Welt Ambrisco is here to help! Whether you’re looking for more information on creating a weather safety plan for your family or business or you need to file a damage claim, we are just a call or click away! (319) 887-3700 www.awwelt.com.


[i] “Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters” NCDC National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/overview.

[ii] Lightning Safety: When Thunder Roars Go Indoors! National Weather Service, http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/index.htm.

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