Emergency warnings for storms (and other forms of severe weather) are usually issued three days before the storm’s arrival. However, things can change quickly. This means that you should begin to take action right away following a warning so that you’re able to keep yourself and those around you safe.

 

    • Carry out any necessary maintenance. Whether you’ll be taking shelter in your home or elsewhere, there are certain steps you need to take ahead of time to protect your property from storms. Ideally, you should try to carry out any essential home maintenance tasks beforehand, especially if failing to carry them out could make your home more vulnerable to damage. For example, you could clean out your gutters to reduce the chances of them overflowing or flooding.
    • Follow all government guidelines. Staying safe during severe weather conditions can often come down to following advice and guidelines laid out by authorities. For example, if you have been advised to avoid traveling, stay at home unless departing is absolutely pivotal. In situations where you have been given an advanced storm warning and want to take care of relatives when the storm hits, travel to them (or bring them to your home) as far in advance as possible. You should also use this as an opportunity to teach children some general safety rules
    • Have some emergency supplies to hand. During storms, you’ll be unable to pop to the grocery store and may be without energy and electricity for long periods of time. As a result, you should reach out to a long term food storage supplier ahead of time, so that you can store non-perishable goods in your home. For example, if you were to purchase products from Valley Food Storage, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll have access to nutrient-rich, tasty food, even in an emergency scenario. Even better, when stored appropriately, these goods have a 25-year shelf life, meaning a purchase now can come in handy for years to come.
    • Brush up on some basic first aid. Brushing up on the basic first aid skills that everyone should learn is another excellent way to keep yourself, your family, and those around you safe during the wake of a storm. For example, once the storm has passed, many people may require medical attention, resulting in long waiting times at health centers. Being able to support people by carrying out basic first aid reduces the strain on these services.
    • Have a ‘grab bag’ ready. During adverse weather conditions, you should also be prepared to evacuate quickly if advised. This means you should put together a ‘grab bag’, containing items such as passports, IDs, insurance documents, medication and prescriptions, and phone chargers. You should also pack some spare clothes, a blanket and a few bottles of water. Overall, it’s better to pack light (only the essentials), even if it may be tempting to bring a lot of your belongings with you.
    • Be prepared for power outages. As mentioned above, power outages occur frequently during severe weather conditions. This is because electricity lines can be damaged by debris, such as falling trees, etc. As such, you should ensure that you are prepared for such power outages. Pull together a supply of matches, candles, and torches that you can use during this time. You should also invest in a portable charger so that you can continue to communicate with others, follow the news, or keep an eye out for government updates and guidance. You should also ensure you have purchased some spare batteries if you are using battery-powered devices, such as torches, during this time as they can quickly run out if you are using them constantly.
    • Try to stay calm. Managing your stress levels is another great way to ensure you stay safe during this time. This is because when stressed or frightened, you may be less likely to make rational decisions, which could put yourself or others in harm’s way. For example, if you notice that your property is damaged mid-storm, you may be tempted to go out and rectify the issue if you are panicking about further damage. However, it’s far better (and safer) to wait until the storm has passed to deal with this task – and being calm and logical will help you recognise this. Furthemore, when you remain calm and collected, you encourage the rest of your family to follow suit. This is particularly important if you’re seeking shelter with younger children, who may be frightened and looking to you for support.