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Some parts of the country were pummelled with harsh storms and snow dumps this winter, but spring doesn’t guarantee calm weather. In fact, spring can bring severe storms that threaten homes and lives.

The problem with spring is that it brings a mix of cold and warm air. When opposing weather fronts collide, instability results, leading to storms. Hail is prevalent in spring as are high winds. In some cases, hail can be greater than an inch in diameter and winds can exceed 50 mph. Windstorms can quickly progress into life-threatening tornadoes.

The strong winds of a storm can knock out trees, billboards, power lines, and even mobile homes. Hail can destroy windows, roofs, and sheds and kill livestock. The lightning that is common during a thunderstorm can cause fires.

Spring storms also bring heavy rains that could result in flooding. People living in low-lying areas must be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice in case the flooding gets severe.

You can’t prevent these storms, but you can minimize potential damages by properly preparing for them. Here are some tips for safeguarding yourself against extreme spring weather:

  • Monitor weather reports – When adverse weather is forecast, people should monitor their local reports through the radio, TV, and social media. This will help people know if they are in the path of the storm and if or when they should evacuate.
  • Emergency kit – Make sure to prepare an emergency kit that you can grab as you exit your home. It should be complete enough to sustain you for three days with food, water, first-aid supplies, money, and more.
  • Exit strategy – Make a plan for evacuating your home and area in the event of strong winds and flooding. Be familiar with the nearest and most accessible evacuation centers.
  • Back up power – A storm usually results in a power outage. Have a backup source of power available just in case the power grid goes down. A flashlight with batteries is a must, and a portable generator is even better.
  • Stock up on non-perishable foods – Keep extra canned and dry foods on hand to tide your family over for a day or two. Don’t depend on perishable food because your fridge and freezer may lose power. Jerky, granola bars, dried fruit, and peanut butter and crackers are good options.

Who knows what spring will bring, but you can improve your safety and peace of mind if you prepare now for whatever nature has in store.