Severe Thunderstorm Safety Rules


Severe Thunderstorm Safety Rules
  • Severe thunderstorms produce damaging winds of around 60 mph or greater, and/or large hail of 1 inch diameter or greater.
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued for your area, get inside a substantial structure and stay away from windows.
  • Severe thunderstorm winds are capable of snapping large tree limbs, or even uprooting trees. They can also bring down power lines. Do not touch or drive over downed power lines.
  • Lawn furniture, trampolines, trash cans, unanchored basketball poles, fences, signs and other objects can be toppled or become airborne in severe thunderstorm winds.
  • If you are in a vehicle, be aware that severe thunderstorm wind gusts could push your vehicle off the road. This is especially true for high profile vehicles such as trucks or RVs. Wind blown dust or wind blown rain can greatly reduce visibility. If you experience large hail, pull over until the storm lets up.
  • Large hail can damage roofs, siding and windows of homes. Get indoors and stay away from windows.
  • If camping, hiking, or boating, have a weather app for your phone or a portable weather radio. If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued for your area, seek shelter in a sturdy structure. If no shelter is available, crouch down in a low lying area or a clump of smaller trees or shrubs. Avoid being in the open or near isolated tall trees.
Report large hail or wind damage to local authorities for relay to the National Weather Service.
Follow National Weather Service Chicago on Facebook at, and Twitter @NWSChicago. Once you are in a safe location, please post reports or pictures of storm damage or large hail with your location and time of occurrence. 
If you are aware of a severe thunderstorm warning in your area, please share with family, neighbors, and friends through Facebook, Twitter, or text message. Be a force of nature!

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