Disaster Prep Summer Series: Thunderstorms

Don't let thunderstorms fool you.  While they may be an everyday occurrence across the world, they can pack quite a punch and cause all sorts of damage.  Lightening can can start fires, wind can knock down trees and power lines, hail can break windows and damage roofs, rain can cause flash floods...

Photo by Jensoo

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in and around the watch area. 
Severe Thunderstorm Warning:  Severe thunderstorms have been reported by spotters or radar.  Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

Prepare before the weather turns bad:

Research lightnening rods for your house
Trim back trees and bushes from doors and windows
Have a list of loose items to bring in or place in your garage or shed like patio furniture or potted plants.
Check that your emergency supplies are in good order
Remember that thunderstorms can contain hail so try and find a place you can pull your cars under to protect them from the hail
Have a spot selected in your house that is well away from any windows as items being thrown around in the wind or hail can smash a window
Check with your car and home insurance providers to make sure you are adequately covered for any storm damage
Have all electronics protected by surge protectors.  Consider installing a whole house surger protecter on your electrical pannel

As the storm gets closer:

Keep your TV and or radio on and tuned into your local emergency station
Bring in ALL animals even if they have a pet house or hutch.  If you don't want them in the house then secure them comfortably in the garage.
Bring all cars into garage or under covers to avoid hail damage
Secure all your loose outdoor items
Unplug all items like computers and any applicances you can to protect from power surges
Avoid items that are not wireless like cord phones.  Use the wireless handset.

But I'm driving in my car:

Find a safe place to park your car and take cover if possible.  Many thunderstorms will contain hail which can do cause a lot of damage to your car and can cause serious bodily injury if you are struck by them.  Look for a concrete parking structure or an overpass to get under, turn on your emergency flashers and stay in your car.  Do not get out and stay away from anything metal until the storm as safely passed.  Many thunderstorms will include lightening so be aware of anything metal and stay out of pools.

After storm:

Watch for flooded areas and do not attempt to drive your car through them.
Stay away from downed electrical poles or wires
Stay away from any trees that have any dangling limbs or unsafe structures
If any of your property was damaged, call your insurance adjuster and make the proper arrangements to have it repaired


  1. That’s true! Thunderstorms or hailstorms can cause a lot of damage to one’s property. Fortunately, it can be all avoided with proper precautions, just like what is listed on this guideline. And I think the most important thing to note is how to deal with those two while on the road, because that situation can potentially be harmful, if not fatal. Take care!

    Martha Brady @ Indianapolis Dent Company


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