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Storm-Ready Summer: How to Prepare for Severe Weather

Learn how to secure your home, assemble an emergency kit, and create a family emergency plan to ensure safety and minimize damage.

As the warmer days of summer approach, it's crucial to prepare for the possibility of severe storms. While we often enjoy summer for its sunny days and outdoor activities, this season also brings the risk of thunderstorms, heavy rain, and high winds. Being ready for these events can protect your home and keep your family safe. We’ll cover essential steps to prepare for severe summer storms, ensuring you stay safe and minimize damage to your property.

Understanding Severe Summer Storms

Severe summer storms can come with a range of hazards, including strong winds, heavy rainfall, lightning, and hail. Understanding these threats and knowing what to expect can help you better prepare and respond effectively.

Securing Your Home

Inspect your roof and gutters before storm season hits. Check for loose or damaged shingles and repair them. Ensure gutters are clean and securely attached to handle heavy rain without causing overflow or water damage. Trim any dead branches and prune trees to prevent them from falling and causing damage during strong winds. Make sure to secure outdoor items. Bring in or firmly secure outdoor furniture, grills, and decorations that can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. Reinforce windows and doors by installing storm shutters or using plywood to protect windows from flying debris. Check that doors, including garage doors, are sturdy and can withstand high winds. Verify that your sump pump is working correctly to prevent basement flooding. Consider a battery backup system in case of power outages. Lastly, designate a safe area in your home, such as a basement or interior room, where you can shelter during severe storms. Stock it with essential supplies.

Preparing an Emergency Kit

Your emergency kit should include essentials like water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, medications, and personal hygiene items. Include flashlights, extra batteries, and portable chargers to keep your devices powered. A battery-powered or hand-crank radio can provide crucial weather updates and information during power outages. Keep basic tools, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and a multi-tool for quick repairs and emergency needs. Store copies of important documents like identification, insurance policies, and medical records in a waterproof container.

Developing a Family Emergency Plan

Establish a family communication plan. Ensure everyone knows how to contact each other and where to meet if separated. Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and have a plan for where to go if evacuation becomes necessary. Conduct regular safety drills to ensure everyone knows what to do during a storm. Consider the needs of elderly family members, pets, and those with medical conditions in your emergency planning.

Staying Informed and Connected

Sign up for local weather alerts and download weather apps to receive real-time updates on severe weather. A generator can keep essential appliances running during a power outage. Know where to find local shelters and community resources if you need assistance during or after a storm.

After the Storm

Avoid downed power lines and report them immediately. Be cautious of debris and damaged structures. Once it’s safe, inspect your home for damage. Take photos for insurance claims and make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Continue to listen to weather updates and emergency instructions until it's confirmed that the threat has passed.


Preparing for severe summer storms is essential for ensuring the safety of your home and family. By securing your property, assembling a comprehensive emergency kit, and developing a detailed family emergency plan, you can minimize risks and respond effectively to severe weather. Stay informed, stay safe, and be ready to face the storm season with confidence.

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