Spring is prime thunderstorm season. These storms can be devastating, producing damaging winds, lightning, large hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. Thankfully, there are many safety steps you can take to protect your family from severe weather and provide peace of mind in knowing you’re prepared.
Meteorologists can predict thunderstorms in a limited way, but they can’t identify where certain things like lightning or tornadoes might strike. Therefore, severe weather safety hinges on preparation.
- Know your terms. The National Weather Service issues alerts to the public when dangerous weather conditions are expected. A weather watch means there is potential for a dangerous weather event. A warning means that a dangerous weather event is imminent and immediate action should be taken to protect life and property. An advisory means less serious weather conditions than a warning are imminent. Advisory events may cause a significant inconvenience but could lead to a threatening situation if caution is not used.
- Keep emergency and first aid kits available. These should include a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, extra batteries, and a three-day food and water supply.
- Prepare a family emergency plan that outlines what each family member will do, how they will get to a safe place and how they will get in touch with each other. Identify an out-of-state contact for everyone to call in case local communications aren’t working.
- Identify safe shelter areas. Drivers should get off the road and find sturdy buildings to take shelter from damaging hail or high winds. Inside the home, stay away from windows and choose an interior part of a basement or an inside room on the lowest floor to take shelter. Practice your shelter plans with your family so you’ll be ready when a storm strikes.
- Know where your utility switches are located and how to turn off the gas, water and electricity.
Homeowners insurance coverage for storm-related damage varies from state to state. The comprehensive coverage portion of auto policies might also cover damage or loss to vehicles.
If you have questions about AAA home or auto insurance coverage in the event of weather-related damage, check with your insurance agent. Call (800) 207-3618 to speak to a AAA Ohio Auto Club Insurance Agency representative.