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March is the Start of Severe Weather Season—Be Prepared!

The severe weather season is broadly categorized as March through August. No matter where you reside in North America, you’re at risk for one type of storm or another. Take action today to prepare your home and business for potential inclement weather.

How to Prepare for a Tornado
Every state is at least minimally at risk for tornadoes, but cities in “Tornado Alley,” spanning South Dakota to Texas, are the most at risk. Here’s what to do if the winds start picking up in your area:

• Watch for signs of an approaching storm, including a dark sky, large hail, fast-moving clouds, or roaring winds.
• Tune in to your National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio to stay up-to-date on the latest emergency alerts. Follow any instructions that come through.
• Be aware that a tornado watch means a funnel cloud is possible. A tornado warning means one has already touched down.
• If a tornado warning is issued, take shelter. A storm cellar or basement is ideal, but a ground-level interior room is the next best thing.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Cities along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast are at risk for hurricanes, which often strike from June through November. Hurricanes can be predicted well in advance, so take these precautions if a storm is headed your way:

• Create a family disaster plan, assemble an emergency survival kit, and prepare to evacuate if necessary.
• Secure your home before you leave. Board up windows and doors, install roof straps, and reinforce the garage doors.
• Whether you evacuate or hunker down, prepare your property to weather the storm. Bring in patio furniture and other untethered items, trim trees and shrubs, and secure your boat if you have one.
• Be aware that a hurricane watch may be issued about 48 hours ahead of the anticipated storm. A hurricane warning indicates rising wind speeds with hurricane conditions expected within 36 hours.

How to Prepare for a Thunderstorm
Spring and summer downpours may produce dangerous lightning, high winds, large hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. They may even cause wildfires if lightning strikes the ground. Here’s how to prepare for a thunderstorm:

• Trim back branches to avoid roof damage from falling limbs.
• Close and secure windows and doors.
• Unplug sensitive electronics when you see a storm approaching.
• Bring outdoor furniture, toys, and other belongings inside.
• Turn on your NOAA Weather Radio for storm updates.
• Be aware that a thunderstorm watch means stormy conditions are likely to occur. A thunderstorm warning means severe conditions already exist.
• If a thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter inside or within your car if there are no buildings nearby.

It feels great to be prepared, but if a storm strikes, you may still need help recovering. Call DKI Services for storm damage restoration today. With over 500 locations across North America, we can quickly service your local area.