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Planning is your best defense for dangerous weather. It's what you do before storms are even on the horizon that can make the difference between life and death. Follow these important checklists to keep your family safe:
Family Preparedness Checklist:
- Remove dead or rotting trees that could fall on your house or property if struck by lightning.
- Move inside your house or garage anything on your property that could become flying debris.
- Unplug any appliances or electronic equipment.
- Inventory all valuables in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and date of purchase.
- Make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe-deposit or safe box.
- Read and understand your insurance policy, especially disclosures.
- Examine your homeowners' coverage, as well as auto policies.
- Be sure you have adequate coverage and deductibles reasonable for your needs.
- If you have expensive or specialty items (e.g. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.), speak with your agent about broader coverage, as limits do apply under a homeowners' policy.
- Sign up for The Weather Channel's severe weather mobile alerts.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for important updates.
- Consider buying a whole-house surge protector. Whole-house surge protection can protect against lightning strikes or damaged power lines that could cause a fire.
- Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate.
- Take care of your pets. Doghouses aren't lightning-safe, and dogs that are tied to trees or other tall objects can also be hit by lightning.
If you're inside when severe weather strikes:
- Avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment and plumbing.
- Don't use your cell phone during a thunderstorm.
- Don't wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry.
- Stay away from windows, doors and concrete items.
If you're outdoors when severe weather strikes:
- Seek shelter when you first see dark clouds, lightning or hear thunder.
- Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
- Get out of water and avoid metal. They both can carry an electrical current.
- Get inside a completely enclosed building immediately if one is accessible.
- Don't go into a carport, open garage or covered patio.
- If you can't find a completely enclosed building, find a hard-topped, all-metal vehicle.
- Avoid leaning against vehicles. Get off bicycles and motorcycles.
- If you're in a group of people, spread out.
- Stay away from tall, isolated objects.
- If you're driving during a thunderstorm, get off the road. A lightning bolt could strike your car and temporarily blind you. See driving safety tips for every weather situation.
- If you're boating or swimming, get to shore immediately.
Emergency Plan for People with Disabilities
A brochure for adults.
Also available in Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese. Los Angeles CountyEmergency Preparedness: Taking Responsibility for Your Safety:
Tips for People with Disabilities and Activity Limitations is available in English and Spanish. For Large Type, Braille, or audio copies, please contact the Emergency Survival Program.