Be Prepared Before Wicked Weather Strikes

4/1/2013 2:06:42 PM

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, there are an estimated 100,000 thunderstorms each year in the U.S. and around 10 percent reach severe levels. A number of dangerous weather conditions are associated with thunderstorms including hail, wind gusts, lightning, flash floods and tornadoes. Before wicked weather strikes, these tips can help you be prepared.

Know the difference between a watch and a warning. As you see and hear the weather alerts sounding on the television or radio, be sure everyone in your family knows how to respond. A warning often indicates it’s time to take cover in a safe place.

Develop a family emergency plan. Your family may not be together when wicked weather occurs, so develop a family emergency plan in advance. Discuss how your family will make contact in different situations, and be sure everyone knows the number of the emergency contact.

Designate a safe area. Depending on the type of weather or disaster, designate a specific safe place for family members to gather, and don’t forget your pets. If severe weather is approaching, take shelter on the lowest level of your home in a room without windows. If the event is a fire, designate a place outdoors where everyone should gather.

Take inventory of your belongings. Create a list of valuable items in your home such as electronics, appliances, furnishings and collectibles. An online home inventory can help you note the contents of your home and their value.

Put together a disaster supply kit. Before wicked weather hits, take time to put together items you might need in case of a disaster. Some recommendations for a disaster supply kit include a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, first-aid kit, radio, blankets, special-needs items and more.

Review your insurance with your agent. Make sure you have the coverage you’ll need to meet your needs should a disaster occur.

As part of your wicked weather preparedness, contact your Farm Bureau agent to make sure your insurance is up-to-date. Access our online home inventory kit, disaster supply kit and learn more about steps you can take to minimize your severe weather risks at

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