In light of recent natural disasters, we thought it appropriate to share with you some important safety tips to keep yourself protected during severe weather. So without further ado, let's jump right in!

1. Learn about your local community's emergency warning system for severe weather.

Radio stations in the area may be equipped to broadcast emergency information.

2. Discuss safety plans with all members of your household. Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm.

This should be away from windows, skylights, and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail. Making sure that everyone knows how to react in an emergency may very well mean the difference between life and death.

3. Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of severe weather.

Anything loosely placed outside should be secured or brought in to make sure it and your home remain undamaged.

4. Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods.

5. Get trained in first aid, learn how to respond to emergencies, and make sure you have a first aid kit somewhere easily accessible.

Multiple first aid kits are preferable, placed in various locations around your home.

6. Always keep a battery-powered radio in your home that you can tune to radio stations if you lose electricity.

Check or change the batteries frequently.

7. Keep a flashlight in an easily accessible spot on every floor of your home, and keep a supply of candles on hand for power failures.

But be careful how many candles you light, especially in an enclosed room. The flame will consume oxygen and increase carbon monoxide in the room.

8. As a safety precaution before leaving the house on vacation, unplug all electrical appliances you can.

This will prevent issues from power restoration, like power surges, from causing a fire within your home.

9. When a major storm is imminent, close shutters, board windows, or tape the inside of larger panels with an "X" along the full length of their diagonals.

Even a light material like masking tape may give the glass the extra margin of strength it needs to resist cracking.

10. The basement is NOT a good shelter during a tornado - It's too close to gas pipes, sewer pipes, drains, and cesspools.

A better shelter would be underground, far from the house (in case the roof falls) and away from gas and sewer systems. Let all family members know where the shelter is.

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