What Should You Do If Caught in Severe Storm Conditions?

June 1, 2023

Generally, if you are caught in severe storm conditions, the best place to be is the sheltered area identified in your family's emergency plan. A safe alternative is a garage, shed or an interior room of your house. Avoid standing under a tree during a thunderstorm as it puts you at a greater risk of being struck by lightning. If you are at work or school, go to the designated safe area or to an interior room away from windows. If you are in a vehicle, move to the closest safe location and put your seatbelt on.

If you are outdoors, listen to the radio for weather updates and follow local media reports. Remember, severe storms can quickly develop into tornadoes - which pose the greatest danger to those without shelter.

Mobile/manufactured homes are not safe in a tornado, and they can also be easily blown off their foundations by high winds. You should make plans BEFORE a tornado warning is issued to get to a safer place or to evacuate.

If you are on the water during a storm, keep an eye on the clouds and look for dark, puffy ones indicating approaching poor weather. If you see lightning or hear thunder, seek safe shelter immediately and stay off the water. Make sure your boat has a cabin and is secure, and that you have a way to communicate with your crew (marine VHF radio, cell phone, etc). Consider getting a boat insurance policy so that you're not financially swamped if your boat is impacted by a severe storm.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
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