Summer is the season of warm weather, sunny skies, and sandy beaches. But summer is also the season of storms—thunderstorms, hailstorms, hurricanes—you name it. You can have fun in the summertime, but you should also prepare for dangerous inclement weather.
If the forecast is looking tempestuous in your area, here’s what to do during a thunderstorm along with some tips on how to prepare for one and deal with the aftermath.
Before the Storm
You need to have a detailed emergency plan and an emergency kit you can grab in a flash. You should know where to go in the event of a storm (somewhere without windows—ideally a basement, storm cellar, or bathroom) and make sure you have enough supplies to last you at least a week in the event of a worst-case scenario (food, water, radio, flashlight).
If the weather is turbulent where you live, pay close attention to local weather reports. If you hear warning sirens, grab your emergency kit and head to your designated safe area. Continue to listen to the news via your phone or radio and wait for an all-clear.
During the Storm
Wondering what to do during a thunderstorm? Standing outside during a rain shower isn’t dangerous, but you shouldn’t stand outside during a thunderstorm. If you hear thunder, you should head indoors and remain there for the duration of the storm.
During the storm, pay close attention to alerts and warnings. You should avoid doing anything that puts you at risk of electrocution, such as using electrical devices connected to an outlet, using landlines, or standing near windows or doors.
After the Storm
Not all thunderstorms are destructive. At worst, you might see a few fallen branches around. But some thunderstorms can cause extreme amounts of damage. Once the storm has subsided, there are a few different things you need to do.
First, inspect the exterior of your home for damage. Wind can blow the shingles off your roof, debris can smash through your windows, and rain and strong gusts can chip away at the siding. You should also check your patio furniture and any vehicles left outside during the storm for damage.
Luckily, standard homeowner’s insurance policies cover most storm damage. Since storms are considered an “Act of God,” filing a claim won’t raise your insurance premiums—so make sure to file one as soon as possible so you can get the repairs covered.