The beautiful summer weather we all look forward to can sometimes be interrupted by unexpected severe weather conditions. Not knowing how to be prepared for severe weather before it strikes can cause stress and damages that otherwise would have been avoided. We at Think Energy want to discuss severe weather preparedness – everything from how to prepare for a tornado to how to prepare for a flood ¬– so that our customers can keep their families and homes safe this summer.
Preparing for Severe Weather Tips
- Create a Family Emergency Communication Plan in case your family is separated during severe weather. Have a game plan for getting back together, both in and outside of your neighborhood. It’s also helpful to have an out-of-state contact for everyone to reach out to.
- Share your family’s emergency plans with babysitters and caregivers.
- Put together Emergency Supply Kits for each family member, capable of keeping them alive for at least three days. These should include nonperishable food, bottles of water, flashlights with extra batteries, portable radios, first aid kits, prescription medications, nonelectric can openers, baby-care items, blankets, sleeping bags and fire extinguishers.
- Always monitor media outlets for weather watches, warnings and safety instructions.
- Go over the following tips with your family so everyone is aware of what to do in each unique severe weather situation.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips
- Pay attention to the heat index as well as the actual air temperature.
- Be aware of Heat Watches and Heat Warnings.
- Avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
- Do outside work and prolonged activities during the coolest times of the day.
- Apply and reapply sunscreen regularly.
- Drink plenty of water to ensure that you’re hydrated.
- Be able to recognize signs of heat illness.
- Keep not only your family members cool, but your pets as well.
Wildfire Safety Tips
- Be aware of Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings.
- Throw away cigarette butts in the proper manner.
- Keep vehicles away and off of dry, grassy areas.
- Avoid open flames and sparks.
- Don’t use power equipment that produces sparks.
- Immediately evacuate if fire and smoke are coming your direction.
- Evacuate if local authorities instruct you to do so.
- Obey burn bans.
- Never burn on dry, windy days.
- Stay with your campfire at all times.
- Fully extinguish your campfire.
- Call 911 to report any wildfires.
- Make sure you always have a fire extinguisher handy and that everyone in your household knows how to use one.
Tornado Safety Tips
- Pay attention to Tornado Watches and Tornado Warnings.
- Watch for tornado warning signs: dark, green-tinted skies; large hail; big, dark, low-lying clouds and load roars sounding like a freight train.
- Listen to media outlets for evacuation and shelter instructions.
- Gather family members and pets indoors for tornado preparation.
- Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls.
- Preferably, seek shelter in a basement, lower level, interior hallway, bathroom or closet.
- Grab your tornado preparedness kit and go over your tornado safety plan.
- If you’re caught outside, lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area, while covering your head with your hands.
- Never try to outrun a tornado.
Thunderstorm Safety Tips
- Be aware of Severe Thunderstorm Watches and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.
- If after seeing lightning you’re not able to count to 30 before hearing thunder, seek shelter indoors for your family and pets.
- Avoid using wired phones, electrical appliances and running water.
- Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
- If stuck outside, seek shelter inside a vehicle. If you don’t have access to the inside of a vehicle, find a low-lying area away from trees, poles and metal objects (including cars). Squat low to the ground.
- Be aware of possible flooding around you.
Flood Safety Tips
- Pay attention to Flood Watches, Flood Warnings, Flash Flood Watches and Flash Flood Warnings.
- Listen to media outlets for timely updates and flood preparedness information.
- Elevate and waterproof critical utilities and valuables during flood preparation to decrease damages.
- Have an evacuation plan, including routes and places to stay.
- Evacuate before flooding starts.
- Do not try to cross water. Its depth is hard to determine and its movement is extremely powerful.
- If trapped, call 911.
- If trapped inside a building, go to the highest level.
- If trapped inside a vehicle surrounded by rapidly moving water, stay inside unless water is rising inside the vehicle.
- If trapped outside, move to high grounds. Climb up on a sturdy object if necessary.
- Return to your home only when authorities say it’s safe.
We at Think Energy want to stress that by simply following the above severe weather tips, you and your family can avoid unnecessary panic and damages. From preparing for a tornado to preparing for a flood, you’ll be ready for any severe weather situation that may come your way this summer.