what should you do if caught in severe storm conditions

What should you do if caught in severe storm conditions?  Lightning storms, or thunderstorms can be extremely hazardous, and may even prove lethal.

Therefore, it is never a good idea to find yourself caught in the middle of a storm. It is better to evacuate the area and take necessary precautions as recommended by the local authorities.

But, what should you do if you’re caught in severe storm conditions and can’t leave in time?

You should look for a good shelter like a basement in a strong building, keep your kit ready, and move to a higher ground to avoid flash flooding. 

Things to Do Before a Thunderstorm

things to do before a thunderstorm

The best thing to deal with a thunderstorm is to be proactive. And that is why you should know what to do before a storm even hits you. 

Do the Drill

Before a storm hits, it is important to practice what to do with your family on a regular basis.

The best way to ensure a quick and coordinated response in an emergency is to ensure every family member is familiar with the predefined safety protocols.

do the drill

As part of these exercises, you should determine where in your home is the safest (e.g., the basement or an inner room) and what to do in an emergency (e.g., avoid windows and turn off electronics).

Running through these drills in advance will prepare your family better for real-life thunderstorms.

This increases the likelihood that everyone will respond quickly and appropriately to ensure everyone’s safety. 

Look for Shelter

Before a storm approaches, you should seek shelter in a solid structure.

Finding a nearby fortified structure where you can take refuge quickly is essential for your protection.

look for shelter

Because of their architecture, permanent buildings are typically stronger and safer during severe weather.

An Important Consideration

Having a plan in place and a safe place to go in the event of high winds greatly reduces the danger to you and your loved ones.

Learn the procedures in place for dealing with emergencies in your area, and have a backup plan ready.

Fact: Staying away from gazebos, sheds, bleachers and dugout is important, as they cannot protect against lightning and high winds. 

What Should You Do If Caught In Severe Storm Conditions?

response to severe storm conditions

In case you have missed the chance to evacuate in time, you are probably going to face a lot of difficulties dealing with the storm conditions.

Here is what you should do in such a situation:  

Keep Tabs on Weather Conditions

To avoid harm during thunderstorms, it is important to stay attentive and know what is happening in the area.

Listen carefully to local weather reports and seriously pay attention to any cautions or warnings issued by authorities.

keep tabs on weather conditions

If thunderstorms are in the forecast, it is best to wait until the weather improves before venturing outdoors.

Safeguarding yourself and others around you should be your top priority, thus it is important to pay attention to weather reports and adjust your plans accordingly.

Fact: Hail, heavy rain, high gusts, and lightning strikes are just some of the dangers that those exposed to the elements face during a thunderstorm. 

Find Shelter

find shelter

Seek immediate refuge in a safe building after hearing thunder during a storm.

To protect yourself against lightning, you should seek shelter in a large, well-constructed building.

Relocate to the safest possible location, such as the basement or an internal room on the ground floor.

Gather in a basement or interior area, such as a bathroom or closet, if you are at home.

You should stay indoors until the weather reports say it is safe to go outside again.

Fact: It is important to stay away from any glass surfaces, such as doors and windows, as they may break in high winds. 

Protect Yourself from Lightning

protect yourself from lightning

Keep in mind that lightning is always a risk, even if you take cover indoors during a storm.

Stay away from anything that plugs into an outlet to keep yourself safe. Power surges induced by lightning strikes can cause damage or injury to electrical devices, so it is best to unplug them before a storm hits.

It is also important to stay away from any running water during a storm. Electrical current can flow through pipes and water lines if lightning strikes nearby.

Until the storm has passed, you should hold off on taking showers, washing dishes, and using the sink.

By taking these measures, you can stay safe from electrical shocks even if you are inside your home during a lightning storm. 

Stay In The Car If Needed

stay in the car if needed

When a thunderstorm rolls through, it is better to be inside a car than outside.

A vehicle’s metal frame can act as a lightning rod, diverting the bolt’s path away from the passengers within.

However, if you have the luxury of time, you should still make your way to the next building and take refuge inside.

Stronger structures are safer from the dangers of a storm, such as high winds and flying debris.

By seeking cover indoors during a thunderstorm, you can lessen your vulnerability to lightning strikes and wait out the storm safely. 

Keep Looking for a Safe Shelter

keep looking for a safe shelter

Remember that there is nowhere outside that is secure from lightning during a storm.

If a thunderstorm catches you outside, you should keep moving until you reach a safe location.

In the event of a lightning strike or other natural disaster, it is best to seek shelter in a strong building.

Lightning strikes are more likely to happen when people are in open areas, such as under trees or near bodies of water.

Your top priority should be to seek shelter in a sturdy building until you are safe to go out.

Avoid exposed regions like high ground and open fields if you cannot find a nearby shelter.

You can lessen the dangers of thunderstorms and improve your chances of survival by steadily making your way toward a secure shelter. 

Move to a Higher Ground

move to a higher ground

Flash flooding is extremely dangerous because it can happen without notice. 

Moving to higher ground quickly, before the floodwaters reach you, is essential for your protection.

Flowing water, no matter how shallow, may nevertheless carry a surprising amount of force.

Never attempt to walk, swim, or drive through floodwater because of its inherent dangers.

These dangers include, but are not limited to:

  • Submerged debris
  • Open manholes
  • Damaged roadways

Finding alternative routes and avoiding flooded regions is important to guarantee your safety.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from harm during flash floods by staying alert, finding higher ground, and staying away from the water. 

What Should you Do If Caught in Severe Storm Conditions on a Boat?

boat in severe storm

If you find yourself in a dangerous storm while out on the water, your first priority must be to ensure your own safety.

Here are some necessary procedures to carry out:

  • Always maintain a level head and an unruffled demeanor. Accidents are more likely to happen when people panic.
  • Put on life jackets and make sure everyone who should be wearing one actually is.  
  • Keep up with the storm’s progress by listening to weather reports on a marine radio, mobile apps, or other on-board devices.
  • Make sure nothing is loose on board that could fly around and hurt someone or cause damage to the boat if the seas are rough.
  • Steer the boat to a safe harbor or a protected cove if you can.  
  • If possible, reef or furl the sails to minimize the total sail area to steer the boat more precisely in high winds.

What’s more, you should adhere to all predetermined safety measures in the event of an emergency.

Maintain open lines of communication with the crew and assign a leader.

Fact: Making use of navigational tools, such as radar or a global positioning system (GPS) can help when tracking your surroundings and avoiding dangers. 


What should you do if caught in severe storm conditions? It is best to evacuate the area if your local authorities have issued a storm warning.

But, if you fail to leave early, it is important to keep your calm and take preventive measures.

Always look for a good shelter where you can protect yourself from lightning and high winds. Moving to higher ground may also help if there is a risk of flash flooding.