Whether you have been living in US for long or you just landed recently, you may be surprised to know that weather emergency vary from state to state.  As such, it is important for us to be aware of the common weather emergencies and what to do to be safe and supplied?  Here’s some information that may be of help.  Before we proceed, please bear the following in mind:

  • In case of emergency, call 911
  • Always stay tuned with the weather emergency and weather alerts.
  • Do not venture out until the emergency alert is lifted.
  • Visit ready.gov, US government’s initiative to help Americans become aware and prepared for the natural disasters.

weather emergency

Now let’s look at the more common natural disasters and what to do when one hits your area:

Tornadoes:

Did you see the movie Twister?  That is a celluloid depiction of how tornadoes are and in reality, they are much worse.  Tornadoes are rated on a scale of F1 (minimum intensity) to F5 (Maximum intensity).  Here are the 13 States that get the most tornadoes in US: Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Iowa, Minnesota, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, South Dakota.

What to do if there is a Tornado alert in your area?

Go to the basement: Try to be on the lowest level of your home/building like basement or storm cellar.

Stay away from windows: The first impact of a tornado is on outer surface of your building and you should not be in the pathway of shattering glass or flying debris.

Do not venture out until the warning has been lifted.

A more thorough details about safety can be found here.

Thunderstorms:

Florida is a State of sunny days, white sand beaches and great seafood with their DMV plate tag ‘The Sunshine State’, but Florida is also notorious for its thunderstorms.  In fact, it has 8 of the top 12 spots for the cities with the most thunderstorm days.  Other States that have frequent thunderstorms are Alabama, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.

What to do if there is a Thunderstorm alert in your area?

  • Take shelter, stay in the innermost room, duck down and stay indoors until the thunderstorm warning has been lifted.
  • Be wary about the hail, flying objects and seek immediate shelter.
  • Stay away from the windows at all times during the thunderstorm warning period.
  • If you are in a State that sees thunderstorms more frequently that others, have a disaster supplies kit.  This link has more information.

Hurricane:

North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey, New York city, Texas, Virginia – we just enumerated 10 spots that are most vulnerable for hurricanes.

What to do if there is a Hurricane alert in your area?

  • Stay away from windows.
  • Stay in the interior room of your home.
  • Keep your most important documents, including insurance details, in ‘waterproof’ container and keep it in the highest elevated spot in your home. If you are to evacuate the home, carry the documents in waterproof container with you and keep it secured all times.
  • Stay tuned to weather updates on Radio/websites/news channels.

Earthquakes:

Earthquakes do not affect all states, at least, not frequently.  There are some States that get more earthquakes in their share than others like: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Oregon.

What to do if there is a earthquake in your area?

– Ideal situation is to be outside in a clear surrounding.

– If you are indoors, take cover under a bed/table in the interior room

– Try not to run for shelter under a tree, building or other structure during and immediately after an earthquake

Floods:

Floods can happen in most unsuspecting places. Top 10 States with flood issues more frequent than other States, from 10 to 1 are: Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, California, Louisiana and Florida.

What to do if there is a flood alert in your area?

  • If outdoors, move to a higher ground.
  • If indoors, stay in the top floor.
  • Keep tuned to weather information.
  • Keep your documents, including insurance documents, in a waterproof bag/container.
  • If you live in a flood prone region, talk to your insurance agent to include the National Flood Insurance Program Being informed and prepared is the best way to deal with natural disasters. What we have touched upon are frequent natural disasters, US government’s weather related emergencies wing lists other types of natural disasters that may happen in US, planning and safety tips at their Ready.gov website.  You can order publications free of cost at the same site.