Prepare for the Storm

How to Prepare for a Summer Storm

Prepare for a Storm with the Generac IQ2000

Summer weather threats vary depending on where you live, but they all share one characteristic: they can happen anytime. Creating an emergency preparedness plan for your family helps keep everyone safe during a crisis and gets your household back to normal quickly after the storm passes.

Learn the Risks and Prepare for all Situations

The first step in preparedness is knowing the hazards you and your family may face. Typical summer storm hazards include hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms, but floods, tsunamis, and wildfires are also a threat in some parts of the country. Depending on where you live, you may need to shelter in place or evacuate quickly, and a well-planned emergency survival kit can help in either situation.

Communication is Key

Severe weather can impact cell phone service, cut power and phone lines, and block roads. Ensure everyone can keep in touch by creating a printed list of phone numbers, email addresses, and social media contacts for each family member, including information for emergency services and health care providers. You should also plan one or more meeting points to find each other if communication networks fail.

Of course, emergency preparedness includes keeping up with information from official sources. Invest in a portable radio that can receive NOAA weather broadcasts to stay on top of changing weather conditions. A hand crank or solar charger for radio and cell phone batteries also keeps communication devices topped up if the power is out for an extended period.

Emergency Survival Kit Essentials

Whether evacuating a coastal area or sheltering in place, every emergency preparedness plan should address a few basic needs.

Food and Water

During a crisis, utilities may fail, so keep at least three days worth of food and water for each family member, including pets. Choose portable foods with a long shelf-life that don’t require cooking, and stock a variety so everyone has something they like. Consider adding water purification tablets or a portable water filter to your emergency storm kit. Store all these items in waterproof containers, such as sealed 5-gallon buckets, to prevent contamination, and don’t forget a can opener, utensils, cups, and plates.

Clothing and Bedding

Your supplies should include a set of durable clothing, extra socks and underwear, and lightweight bedding for each family member. Additional options include sunglasses and hats, outerwear, ponchos or jackets, and pillows or sleeping bags that offer extra comfort.

Health Care


A basic first-aid kit is essential to any summer storm preparedness plan. At a minimum, it should contain a selection of bandages, gauze, ace bandages, antibiotic ointments, bug spray, sunscreen, and pain relievers. You may also want to include a first-aid manual, liquid bandages, tweezers, and bandage scissors. You should also consider prescription medications, glasses, and contact lenses and make sure they don’t get left behind.

Shelter and Sanitation

If you plan to shelter in place, choose a well-protected, below-grade, or interior room with no windows to serve as a storm shelter and storage area for your emergency survival kit. If you must evacuate, add plastic sheeting, a heavy tarp, and some rope to your supplies. You can use these to create a temporary shelter or block the wind and rain. In either case, you’ll need to deal with sanitation, too. A portable camping toilet is an excellent option, but a 5-gallon bucket can do in a pinch. Be sure to pack toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and grooming supplies, such as combs, soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.

See What You’re Doing


If the power goes out, that windowless shelter will be dark. Be sure you have flashlights or electric lanterns to keep the area illuminated. Solar-powered or hand-cranked models, as well as flashlights with rechargeable batteries, are good choices.

Beyond the Basics

Additional items can increase your summer storm preparedness once you’ve stocked up on supplies to keep everyone healthy, warm, fed, and hydrated during summer storms.

  • Store a fire extinguisher in your storm shelter, and be prepared if the worst happens.
  • Keep a tool kit with your emergency supplies, and use it to effect basic repairs or turn off utilities.
  • Add games, books, or puzzles to your supplies to entertain everyone.
  • Seal openings with duct tape, repair torn sleeping bags or ponchos, or secure the lid on a container.
  • If the power fails, fire up a generator to keep essentials such as radios, cell phones, and medical equipment running.

Summer weather can strike without warning, but having an emergency preparedness plan can help keep you and your family safe and healthy in a crisis. Create an emergency storm kit that meets your family’s unique needs, and enjoy the peace of mind that being prepared brings.

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