Severe storms strike quickly. Thunderstorms can produce heavy rain, strong winds, lightning, hail and tornadoes. Respond promptly to these threats posed by a storm in your area.
The National Weather Service, in cooperation with the broadcast media and your local spotter system, will provide you with the warnings you need to quickly respond. If you listen to the media, you'll know when a storm is approaching your area and if you need to take protective action.
NOAA Weather Radios are the best warning system for all kinds of emergencies, including severe storms. These inexpensive devices are recommended as the primary warning system for everyone.
Don't wait until an emergency siren sounds to start looking for flashlights and other things. Make sure the entire family knows where to go at home, at work, in school, at the mall or anywhere they might be when the storms strike. Know where you will take shelter.
There are six National Weather Service Offices that monitor the State of Nebraska.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Be Prepared! Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where severe thunderstorms may occur. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Take Action! Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take shelter in a substantial building. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
- Lightning kills between 75 and 100 people nationwide annually.
- During thunderstorms, stay inside. If you are outdoors, an automobile is a safe place to be.
- Indoors, keep away from doors, windows, stoves, sinks, metal pipes or other conductors. Don't use the telephone. Disconnect electrical appliances such as TVs and radios.
- Outdoors, minimize your height but don't lie flat. Do not take shelter under a tree. Stay away from wire fences or other metallic conductors. Avoid standing in small sheds in open areas.
Hailstorms don’t last long, but they can create a lot of damage in a short time. Every year, hail causes nearly $1 billion in damages, mostly to roofs and cars.
Before a Hailstorm
Know What Your Insurance Covers and How Much You Need
- Check your insurance policy to see what’s covered and the deductible you’ve chosen.
- Your insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair roofs and cars, and other common hail damage.
- You may have a higher deductible for wind and hail damage than you do for other types of claims. Talk to your insurance agent to find out about your coverage.
How to Reduce Hail Damage
If you haven’t taken a look at your roof in a while, now’s the time. Roof repairs today can help you avoid extensive, time-consuming cleanup later.
- Repair or replace worn, curled or missing shingles.
- If your roof is aging, consider replacing it before hail season begins.
During a Hailstorm
Protect Yourself and Your Car
In severe storms, a hail stone can be as big as a softball and fall at 50 to 100 miles per hour.
- Stay indoors.
- Stay away from skylights and glass doors to avoid broken glass.
- If it is safe, close drapes, blinds or shades to prevent debris from blowing inside.
- If you can, park your car in the garage or other covered area.
After a Hailstorm
If you have experienced damage from a hailstorm, report it to your insurance company as soon as possible.