The National Weather Service has some great ways to keep pop up storms and severe weather from… uhhh… taking you by storm!

You can keep your family safe and reduce stress ahead of unpredictable Mother Nature. Before any storms are even on the horizon, there are plenty of things you can do. Here’s how to get started:

  • Know where to get emergency storm information.
  • Pull together a plan that works for your family. Tailor your plans and supplies to the specific daily living needs and responsibilities of each of your family members – including those with special needs or those needing assistance; and of course, your pets.
  • Have additional supplies of food and water on hand.
  • Collect and copy important documents including health records, prescriptions, insurance cards, bank statements, tax returns, and home insurance policies, and put them in a safe place.
  • Scan important documents into an electronic format and store them on DVD, CD or cloud storage.

  • Document valuables. Photograph or video the contents of your home, especially items of higher value. Documenting these items ahead of time will make it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits after a disaster strikes. Photographs can help prove the fair market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims.

Don’t risk lives in an emergency by stopping to track down photo albums, jewelry or other valuables. Remember, above all else, your family’s safety is the most important thing to consider. Know in advance where to go in an emergency – and don’t forget your pet.

In case of severe weather alerts including watches and warnings:

  • Know where the nearest school, church, work, and home shelters are located.
  • Map out emergency routes to schools, work and home, so you’ll know what to do if your usual streets suddenly close.
  • Have a pet? Most shelters allow family pets. Please don’t leave them at home to fend for themselves.
  • Keep car keys, cell phones, wallets, and glasses in the same place so you can grab them and go in an emergency.
  • Don’t drive during a Tornado warning — especially if funnel clouds are visible. Pull off the road and seek shelter.

Better to be safe and informed than panicked – and sorry. Plan ahead. More information about Hurricane and Tornado Preparedness is available on the National Weather Service website.