Safety During Strong Winds
Protect yourself from high winds when you’re outdoors, indoors, and on the road.
High winds can be just as dangerous and damaging as severe weather. Learn how to protect yourself when they blow through.
When You’re Caught Outside
Seek shelter immediately, if possible. However, if no buildings are in sight:
- Avoid elevated areas.
- Stay low to the ground and cover your head.
- Stay away from roads to avoid being blown into traffic.
- Watch for flying debris.
When You’re Indoors
Take cover inside a well-constructed building. Whether you’re at home, at work, or somewhere else:
- Move to the lowest floor.
- Stay away from windows.
- Secure objects the wind could pick up or bring them inside.
When You’re Driving
Sudden bursts of wind can blow you off course, push other vehicles into your lane and drop debris into your path. Follow these guidelines for handling your vehicle:
- Keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
- Slow down.
- Maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front of and beside you.
- Be extra cautious in and near high-profile vehicles — such as trucks, vans, SUVs, RVs, and semis — which strong gusts can flip.
- Watch for downed power lines and call 911 if you pass any.
- If you feel unsafe, pull off to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If possible, park your car so it faces the direction the wind is blowing.
- Never stop on a bridge — high gusts could push you over the railing.
Preparing Your Property
If you live where severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes commonly occur, you might want to secure your home. With the help of a professional, consider the following tasks recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
- Reinforce the garage door.
- Install storm shutters on windows and doors.
- Make sure shingles are secure.
- Brace gable roofs.
- Remove damaged or dead trees.
- Anchor small outbuildings.