During a severe storm
Staying safe during severe storms
- If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces.
- You may want to go to the sheltered area that you and your family chose for your emergency plan.
- If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.
- Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately. Always check the marine forecast before leaving for a day of boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately.
- If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you. Stay in place.
Tips for specific kinds of storms
- When a winter storm hits, stay indoors. If you must go outside, dress for the weather. Outer clothing should be tightly woven and water-repellent. The jacket should have a hood. Wear mittens - they are warmer than gloves - and a hat, as large portion of body heat is lost through the head.
- In wide-open areas, visibility can be virtually zero during heavy blowing snow or a blizzard. You can easily lose your way. If a blizzard strikes, do not try to walk to another building unless there is a rope to guide you or something you can follow.
- If you must travel during a winter storm, do so during the day and let someone know your route and expected arrival time.
- If your car gets stuck in a blizzard or snowstorm, remain calm and stay in your car. Allow fresh air in your car by opening the window slightly on the sheltered side - away from the wind. Beware of exhaust fumes and check the exhaust pipe periodically to make sure it is not blocked with snow. Remember: you can't smell potentially fatal carbon monoxide fumes.
- If you are out on-the-land, stay in your cabin or tent. Consider alerting people using an InReach or similar device.
- To keep your hands and feet warm, exercise them periodically.
- Avoid overexerting yourself. Overexertion in the bitter cold can cause death in certain cases.
- Keep watch for traffic or searchers.
- Take cover when hail begins to fall. Hail comes down at great speed, especially when accompanied by high winds and cause injury and property damage.
- When a hailstorm hits, stay indoors, and keep yourself and your pets away from windows, glass doors and skylights which can shatter if hit by hailstones.
- Ice from freezing rain accumulates on branches, power lines and buildings. If you must go outside when a significant amount of ice has accumulated, pay attention to branches or wires that could break due to the weight of the ice and fall on you. Ice sheets could also do the same.
- Never touch power lines. A hanging power line could be charged (live) and you would run the risk of electrocution. Remember also that ice, branches or power lines can continue to break and fall for several hours after the end of the precipitation.
- When freezing rain is forecast, avoid driving. Even a small amount of freezing rain can make roads extremely slippery. Wait several hours after freezing rain ends so that road maintenance crews have enough time to spread sand or salt on icy roads.
- Rapid onsets of freezing rain combined with the risks of blizzards increase the chances for extreme hypothermia. Thunder and lightning
- Always take shelter during a lightning storm.
- There is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. Safe shelter can be found either in an enclosed building or a hard-topped vehicle.
- If you can see lightning or hear thunder, you may be in danger. Seek shelter immediately.
- Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike in a severe storm before venturing outside again.
- Do not ride bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, or golf carts. These will not protect you from a lightning strike.