Before the Storm

Some thunderstorms can be seen approaching, while others hit without warning. It is important to learn, and recognize the danger signs, and to plan ahead.

Before a Storm
Learn the Danger Signs
  • Dark, towering, or threatening clouds
  • Distant lightning and thunder
Have Disaster Supplies
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes
Check For Hazards
  • Dead or rotting trees and branches can fall during a severe thunderstorm and cause injury and damage.
  • Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a thunderstorm.
  • Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water.
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, fire department, and which radio station to tune for emergency information.
Develop an Emergency Communication Plan
In case family members are separated from one another during a thunderstorm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact". After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Contact you local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on thunderstorms and lightning.