What you should do to protect yourself and your home before and during high winds

High winds are usually associated with storms, but there are times that the passing of a storm or differences in air pressure cause a windy day. Gusting winds can bring down trees, powerlines, and signs, turning unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. If there is a high wind advisory or severe thunderstorm issued for your area, there are a few precautions you should take to keep yourself safe, as well as prevent damage to your home.

To prepare for high winds:

  • Close and secure all windows and doors.
  • Bring in any loose items from outside that can become airborne and cause damage.
  • Secure large outdoor objects – patio furniture, grills, umbrellas, play structures, and garbage cans.
  • Remove dead trees or overhanging branches near your home.
  • Move vehicles, boats, etc. to a garage or other enclosure.
  • Once the wind dies down and the wind advisory is lifted, you should check your property for any damages.

If you are caught outside during high winds:

  • Take cover next to a building or under a secure shelter.
  • Stand clear of roads or train tracks as a gust may blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Avoid elevated areas such as roofs.
  • Watch for flying debris.

If you are driving during high winds:

  • Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down.
  • Watch for blowing objects.
  • Keep a safe distance from other cars.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, pull over.

Always stay tuned to your local weather station to be up-to-date on changing weather conditions.