5 Vital Steps for Storm Preparation in 2022

From hurricanes to tornadoes to your routine summer thunderstorms, stormy weather can do more than rain on your parade—in addition to being life-threatening, these storms can also damage your property.

Fortunately, storm preparation can help mitigate dangerous or ruinous outcomes. By following the steps below, you and your family can remain safe whenever severe weather strikes.

Step 1: Understand the Different Storm Types
In many cases, storm preparedness starts with knowing exactly what you’re up against. That’s because storms come in all shapes and sizes. While some storms generate golf-ball-sized hail, others may bring torrential downpours and heavy flooding. Still, others may produce incredibly swift winds.

As a result, knowing the characteristics of different storm types can help you:

Safely shelter in place
● Plan for road conditions
● Stock the right amount of supplies

Here are a few of the most common storms you may encounter:

● Hurricanes – Hurricanes are powerful tropical cyclones capable of producing high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, and dangerous ocean currents. Although some hurricanes are relatively weak, the most dangerous hurricanes can cause significant damage. Depending on the hurricane’s size, you may have to evacuate. Hurricane preparedness typically involves boarding windows, placing sandbags around your home, and stockpiling hurricane preparedness supplies.
● Tornadoes – Tornadoes can bring devastating winds, debris, and hail. Unlike hurricanes, they can also seemingly arise out of nowhere. As a result, preparing for a tornado starts with knowing where to shelter. For many people, this means sheltering in a basement or another area close to the ground.
● Thunderstorms – Thunderstorms are single-celled storms that produce heavy rain, hail, wind, and lightning. Common during the summer months, thunderstorms can cause significant damage.
● Blizzards – Blizzards are dynamic winter storms that can produce extensive snowfall, ice, and wind. They can also accompany shockingly low temperatures. These storms can trap you at home for extended periods of time. As a result, blizzard preparation involves having access to ample supplies and heat sources. If you are facing an upcoming blizzard, it is important to winternize your generator in preparation.

These storms are just a few of the most common. Dangerous storms also include tropical storms, floods, and ice storms.

Step 2: Make a Storm Plan
While you can’t predict how a storm will act, you can predict how you will act. In catastrophic storms, knowing what to do, where to go, and whom to call can save your life—every second counts when dealing with life-threatening weather.

Creating a strong storm plan involves organizing:

● Shelter and evacuation routes – Some storms, like hurricanes, may require you to prepare a hurricane evacuation plan. Knowing which routes to take to leave your area can save you precious time. Similarly, knowing where to shelter in place during a tornado can help improve your safety.
● Emergency contacts – You’ll want to know whom to call during an emergency. While your emergency contacts may include your family and neighbors, they may also include health and emergency services.
● Alternative electrical sources – Dangerous storms often knock out power. A downed power line can cause you to lose power in your area, or an extreme Public Safety Power Shutoff can occur in response to severe weather. Power losses can be especially threatening for people who rely on electricity to power medical devices. As a result, having a backup electricity plan and knowing how to use your generator during a power outage can help you keep calm and the lights on. Portable generators that use dual fuel technology are especially beneficial to prepare properly for a lights-out scenario.
● Pet plans – If you have pets, you’ll need to know how to safely shelter, calm, and support them during a storm. You’ll also need to plan for pet food, toys, and medicine. Storms can be scary situations for everyone—especially pets.

Successful storm planning also means testing your plan. That means running through exactly what you’ll do during different types of storms. Pay special attention to:

● Areas where your plan falters
● Areas that especially succeed
● Each family member’s tasks
● The time it takes for you to enact your plan

Step 3: Build Storm Preparation Kits
A storm preparation kit includes the supplies you and your family will need to weather the storm. These supplies include:

● Food
● Drinking water
● Medicine, first aid kit and supplies
● Clothing
● Light sources

Let’s take a closer look at each resource.

Grocery stores often close during powerful storms. Even if they do remain open, there’s a good chance people have already emptied their shelves. As a result, it’s essential to stockpile enough food until weather conditions improve. Many weather experts suggest no less than three days’ worth of food per person.

That said, the type of food you gather is just as important as the quantity. That’s because you likely won’t be able to cook or refrigerate your food. In other words, you’ll need non-perishable food. This food includes:

● Dried fruit and nuts
● Canned goods
● Meals ready-to-eat (MREs)

Dangerous storms can also disrupt local water sources and reserves. As a result, adding extra water is imperative to your storm preparation kit.

Weather experts recommend at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day. You should plan on having enough water for several days.

Medicine and First Aid Supplies
Depending on the medicine you need, you may be unable to stock enough to last you several weeks. However, you should have a couple of days’ worth of insulin, statin, and other essential medications.

You should also gather general over-the-counter medicines and first aid supplies. These supplies typically include:

● Bandages
● Antiseptics
● Gauzes
● Headache relievers

If you must evacuate your home during a storm, you’ll need to have clothes for several days. That said, including emergency clothes in your storm preparation kit can save you time and energy.

You’ll especially need extra clothing in winter weather situations. During blizzards, the temperature can drop precipitously. Having access to sweaters, long underwear, and coats can help you and your family safely navigate the storm.

Light Sources
Strong storms often cause a power outage. Power may be out in the most severe storms for days, sometimes even weeks. Consequently, it’s important to have several alternative light sources. These alternative light sources include:

● Flashlights
● Candles
● Lanterns

You might even consider purchasing a portable generator and a inverter generator. Invaluable when it comes to restoring power, portable generators can give you peace of mind—even during the most terrible storms.

Some of the best portable generators can deliver up to 13,000 watts of power. That means you can keep all your lights and essential devices powered up and ready to go.

Step 4: Sign Up for Storm Alerts
Many countries have a national weather service capable of providing up-to-the-minute storm alerts. As a result, you typically don’t have to sign up for federal storm alerts and warnings.

However, you might have to sign up for local alerts from your town, city, and county. If you’re not already registered to receive this vital information, you should do so as soon as possible. Weather alerts remain one of the best ways to spread the word about inclement weather.

Here are a few ways to ensure you receive weather alerts:

● Opt-in to your area’s weather alert system – Some areas require that you opt-in to receive emergency alerts. Often, this process is straightforward, involving little more than entering your contact information into the system’s database. For example, to receive alerts issued by the city of Asheville, you simply need to sign up at AVL Alert.
● Enable your devices to receive alerts – Many devices are already preconfigured to receive federal emergency alerts. That said, you may have to enable these alerts by turning on your phone’s Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) feature.
● Download an alert app – Some government agencies and nonprofits allow you to download apps to alert you of dangerous storms and other emergencies. These agencies and nonprofits include FEMA, the National Weather Service, the Weather Channel, and the American Red Cross.

You might also consider purchasing a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA weather radio. These relatively inexpensive radios broadcast weather reports from stations across the country.

Step 5: Be Ready to Evacuate at a Moment’s Notice
As stated above, storms are often unpredictable. Just because a powerful storm cell is miles away from your location doesn’t mean you’re totally out of the woods.

Dangerous storms can change direction, pick up speed, and turn into stronger storms without warning. This is especially true of hurricanes and tornadoes.

Luckily, you can prepare for the weather’s unpredictability by always being ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Here’s how:

● Keep your gas tank full – A full gas tank can benefit you in most situations—especially during inclement weather. With a full gas tank, you won’t have to stop for gas on your way out of town.
● Move your supply kit into your car – By placing your emergency supply kit in your car, you can evacuate more quickly.
● Keep evacuation route maps close by – Storms can be frantic. Minimize your stress as best you can by keeping easily misplaced items, like storm evacuation route maps, in an accessible location.

2022 Storm Preparation Starts with DuroMax
Dangerous storms can be unpredictable. Luckily, DuroMax can give you back some control. Our line of portable generators can keep the lights on in your home and power your devices so that your emergency contacts are only a phone call away.

We also offer pressure washers, pumps, and accessories. That way, you can clean your property once sunny skies return.

Whether you’re in a summer thunderstorm or bracing for a hurricane, let DuroMax help you shed light on the darkest days.