Prepare for severe summer weather

Saige Heyer

Summertime brings lots of outdoor activities, cool treats, relaxation and, of course, severe weather. To make sure your fun isn’t completely ruined by severe weather, follow these precautions.

Disaster Kit

Here is a list of things to keep together in the area of your house you’ll go to during severe weather. It is also a good idea to keep a small kit in your vehicle.

• Weather radio

• First-aid kit

• Bottled water

• Nonperishable food

• Paper towels

• Towels

• Blankets

• Extra clothes and shoes

• Flashlights

• Batteries

• External chargers for mobile devices


Doing and know the following things ahead of time will help you get to safety quicker during severe weather.

• Know the difference between a watch and a warning.

• Keep an eye on the weather, especially if you plan to be outdoors.

• In case of damage to your home, make an exit plan.

• Make sure your mobile devices are charged.

• Designate emergency contacts in case you’re separated from family or friends.

Severe weather

If you are indoors during severe weather, follow these safety tips.

• Go to the lowest level or most interior room without windows.

• Do not use elevators.

• Cover yourself with blankets to protect from debris.

• Stay inside until the storm has passed.

• Do not stay in a mobile home. Seek shelter as soon as possible.

• Close all windows and doors. Stay away from them.

• Make sure the blinds or curtains are closed.

• Do not use plumbing fixtures as they conduct electricity.

• Unplug electronics and turn off air conditioners.

If you are outdoors, get inside quickly and follow these tips.

• Try not to go to a building with long roofs. Chances are they don’t have interior support.

• If no buildings are nearby, find a ditch or other low-lying area, lay flat and cover your head, neck and face.

• If driving, get away from the storm. Avoid bridges and overpasses.

Severe weather terms

Here are some terms from the National Weather Service to know when keeping an eye on the weather. More weather-related terms can be found at

• Cyclic storm: A thunderstorm that undergoes cycles of intensification and weakening while maintaining its individuality. Cyclic supercells are capable of producing multiple tornadoes and/or several bursts of severe weather.

• Instability: The tendency for air particles to accelerate when they are displaced from their original position; especially, they tend to accelerate upward after being lifted. This is a prerequisite for severe weather — the greater the instability, the greater the potential for severe thunderstorms.

• Severe thunderstorm: A thunderstorm which produces tornadoes, hail 0.75 inches or more in diameter or winds of 58 miles per hour or more.

• Tornado: a violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground and extending from the base of a thunderstorm.

• Warning: a product issued by the weather service’s local office indicating that a particular weather hazard is either imminent or has been reported. It indicates the need to take action to protect life and property.

• Watch: A weather service product indicating that a particular hazard is possible. It is a recommendation for planning, preparation and increased awareness.