Four ways to prepare your family and home for severe weather

For most of the country, summer is a time to go on vacation, host a barbecue and relax by the pool. But, summer months also bring rain, thunderstorms and even tornadoes. When severe weather threatens your area, it’s essential to be prepared.

Here are a few tips on how to protect your family and your home from severe weather:

  • Have a plan. This is probably the most important part of any severe weather plan—to have one! You don’t want to be caught right before a storm hits, panicking about where to go. Be sure to come up with a plan for each type of emergency- flood, tornado, fire and earthquake. Then, make sure each family member knows what to do, by practicing drills throughout the year. If you need supplies, pack them ahead of time. It may also be a good idea to inventory all of your valuables, and keep a flash drive of important documents in any type of safety kit or bag.
  • Get a weather radio. The special radios that the National Weather Service provides at most stores are your best defense for staying up to date with storms, even if your power goes out.
  • Plan for pets. In addition to keeping your family members safe, don’t forget about your four-legged friends. Some pets need special accommodations during storms, such as a carrier, or need to be moved into a different (and safer) room until the threat is gone. And don’t forget to include pet food and medications in your emergency kit!
  • Pay attention during projects. The easiest way to weather-proof your home is to make sure all do-it-yourself projects meet or exceed building codes for high wind in your area. This doesn’t just apply to your walls: you can retroactively reinforce rooms if you’re updating a fireplace or flooring. Be sure to pay special attention to windows, doors and the roof. By making sure each room in your home is as strong as possible, it’s likely to withstand stronger storms.

The most important thing is to make sure everyone stays safe during severe weather. Be sure to take any variations of your family or group into consideration when making plans. And, for more of these tips, and other weather resources, check out