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Preparing for Severe Spring Weather

With the spring season comes the possibility of flooding, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Spring is also associated with hazards such as hail, high winds, lighting strikes and power outages. Planning ahead, knowing how to communicate, organizing a disaster kit, and practicing safety drills are key to being able to handle such fast-developing spring weather and will help keep you safe, help prevent injury, and minimize property damage.

Preparing for Severe Spring Weather

  • Develop an emergency plan that prepares you and your family.
    • Practice your plan.
      • Know what to do and where to go in the event of any severe weather event.
    • Replenish supplies in all emergency kits.
    • Integrate COVID-19 safety protocols into your plans and practice taking shelter while following social distancing guidelines.
      • Disposable face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes should be included in emergency supply kits.
  • Keep an emergency kit in both your home and in your car (battery powered weather radio, flashlight, blankets, cell phone, batteries, etc.)
  • Sign up for local emergency alert notifications.  (Most municipalities and agencies provide alert notifications which will inform residents in times of crisis.)
  • Monitor your local radio or television for current weather conditions and possible severe weather.
  • In the event of severe weather know the difference between storm watches and warnings.
    • Watch -A weather watch means there is the potential or conditions exist for a dangerous weather event.
    • Warning -A weather warning means that a dangerous weather event is imminent. Immediate action must be taken to protect life and property.
    • Advisory -A weather advisory means weather conditions that are less serious than a warning are possible. These events may cause a significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to a situation that may be threatening to life and property.

When Severe Weather Strikes


  • Stay away from windows.
  • Use flashlights if the power goes out. Have a battery-powered NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather reports.
  • Discontinue use of landline phones and electrical equipment.
  • Avoid taking a shower or bath. If lightning strikes your house, it may send a current of electricity across metal plumbing throughout the house.


  • Stay low. If possible, find shelter in a building.
  • Keep away from trees, tall objects, metal objects and water.
  • Boaters and swimmers should get to land as soon as possible.

While Driving

  • Reduce your speed.
  • Pull off to the shoulder of the road. Be sure you’re away from tall objects, such as trees, which could fall due to wind or lightning. Do not clog highway underpasses.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers and remain in the car until the storm passes.
  • Do not touch any metal objects in the car.
  • Never attempt to drive on roads covered by water.

There are many resources online that provide additional information about preparing for severe weather events.

Some of the online resources include:

Last modified: 
April 5, 2021