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Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS)

Severe Storms

Severe weather, including lightning, hail, flooding, and strong wind, is most common during the spring and summer months. Occasionally, tornadoes and hurricanes can also occur.


  • A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means that there is a possibility of storm activity in the area.
  • A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means that activity is occurring or will occur soon; take shelter immediately.

Prior to the Emergency

  • Ensure that you have enough food water, medication (if needed) and batteries. Because power is often lost during severe storms, food that does not require cooking should be considered. 
  • Check portable radios, smoke detectors, and flashlights to ensure they are properly operating and that the batteries are fresh.
  • Stay tuned to local weather and news reports. If emergency officials tell you to evacuate, do so without delay.
  • If you are located in a low-lying area and flooding is anticipated, remove furniture and valuables from the areas that are prone to water accumulation.
Tip: For more information on flood insurance, visit FEMA's Floodsmart website at
  • If strong winds are predicted (in excess of 70 miles per hour), consider boarding up your windows to prevent breakage. Also, trash cans and other items around the yard should be taken indoors to prevent the wind from carrying them away.
  • Run necessary errands before severe weather begins; don't wait until the storm begins to venture outside.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is fueled. Don't drive during the storm unless it is necessary. If you must, stay away from roads near rivers and streams and areas where flooding may occur. Never cross over a roadway that has flowing water. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.

During the Emergency

  • Stay indoors and away from windows. If a tornado or hurricane-force winds are predicted, relocate to the basement or a room that has no windows (like a bathroom).
  • If outside, seek shelter indoors immediately.
  • Stay tuned to local weather and news reports for emergency information. If told to evacuate by emergency officials, do so immediately.
  • If power is lost, do not use candles for lighting; use a flashlight.  
Tip: Check your smoke alarm batteries and the items in your emergency kit
when you change your clocks in the Spring and Fall.


After the Emergency

  • Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with flood waters. If refrigeration is lost because of a power outage, perishable foods such as meat and milk products may not be suitable to eat and should be discarded.
  • Even though the storm has passed, hazardous conditions may still exist, including downed power lines, trees, and flood waters. Call utility companies to report downed lines and power outages.

Alert Montgomery

Remember to listen to the radio and sign up for Alert Montgomery to stay informed and receive further instructions in the event of an emergency.


Ready - Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed

For more information on preparing for severe storms visit





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