FEMA Shares Preparedness Tips Ahead of Severe Storms

FEMA tips
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On Tuesday, high winds, tornados, and hail caused devastation in several towns in Iowa. According to CNN, in 2024, 800 tornados have been reported so far—making it one of the most active seasons in history—and it’s not over yet. The National Weather Service is forecasting an enhanced risk of severe storms with large hail, wind damage, and possible tornadoes across the Southern Plains and portions of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Isolated severe storms are possible across the Mid-Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

Ahead of other severe storms, FEMA shared tips for individuals and business owners to keep in mind as they prepare for any potential impacts:

Have A Plan: Know how you will keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe if severe storms are forecast for your area. Make sure you consider your family’s unique needs including anyone who needs medicine or medical equipment. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if you aren’t together when a severe storm.

Know Where To Get Information: Monitor media for updated information on the storm and/or actions to take. Follow the directions provided by local, state or tribal officials regarding emergency actions.

Know Where To Go: If a severe storm affects your area, you may need to seek shelter. If you get a tornado warning on your phone, an outdoor siren, via a NOAA Weather Radio or on TV or the radio, seek shelter right away. If you are under a tornado or severe weather warning, get to safe shelter immediately. This can be a safe room, basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building. For those that do not have a safe place at home, buildings like schools or community shelters might serve as a shelter.

Listen To Local Officials: If you are told to stay off the roads, don’t venture out. Encourage workers to shelter in place at home or in your building until you are told it is safe to travel. Get to know the terms that are used to identify weather threats and discuss with your employees what to do if watches or warnings are issued.

Gather Emergency Supplies: Include a three-day supply of food and water for each person along with items for any pets. Supplies should include essential personal items such as medicine, clothing, first-aid supplies a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.

Gather Emergency Supplies For Your Vehicle: It’s best to avoid traveling by car if there is a severe weather threat. If it’s unavoidable, make sure to have emergency supplies in the vehicle. These supplies should include the same essentials as you have at home, plus the following: jumper cables, flares or reflective triangles, a car cell phone charger, a blanket, and a map. Never drive around barriers, as roads may be flooded, damaged or blocked by debris.

Be Aware Of Flood Risks: There is the potential for flooding as the storms progress. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low-lying areas and bridges over or near water. If you encounter flood waters, do not drive through the area – turn around, don’t drown.

Check On Your Loved Ones: Check on your neighbors or friends, particularly those who are vulnerable or need extra support. Older adults and individuals who depend on life-sustaining medical equipment or assistance devices such as a ventilator or mobility devices, may need additional support in areas that have lost power.

Click here for more news and insights about severe storms. 

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