1. Talk with your family, and develop a plan of action for when a storm hits. Having these conversations in advance of a storm can greatly reduce concerns and fears.
2. Learn how to access your local NOAA Weather Radio station. These stations are part of a network that broadcasts continuous weather information for your area. You can access them online and through NOAA radio apps for your smartphone.
3. Fill a safe-deposit box with your important documents, such as insurance policies, passports and birth certificates. Take pictures of these documents on your phone, if possible, for extra reassurance.
4. Create an emergency kit, complete with first aid equipment, a flashlight, extra water and food. Stash it in an accessible location.
5. Develop a plan for your pets in case you need to evacuate them with your family. Create a pet-specific emergency kit with leashes, cages (if applicable) and food.
6. Keep an extra supply of critical medicine, in case you are unable to leave your home for an extended period of time during a storm.
7. Get extra cash, and keep it with your emergency kit. Cash is more reliable than electronic forms of payment during emergency situations.
8. Ensure your pantry is always stocked with enough food for three days, so you and your family are prepared to stay at home when a storm hits.
9. Store flashlights in convenient locations, such as a kitchen drawer or front closet. They should be easily accessible in case the lights go out.
10. Consider purchasing a standby or portable generator, so you can have peace of mind that your lights will stay on and your family will feel safe when storms are threatening your area.