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18 Things You Should Never Do at Home During Severe Weather

When severe weather strikes, don't make these dangerous mistakes. Our expert tips will keep you safe at home when you need it most!

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Run a generator indoors during a power outage

A generator is the best thing to have in a blackout. But it can make you blackout (or die). Hurricane Katrina led to more than 50 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. Like any internal combustion engine, a generator engine exhausts carbon monoxide gas, which can give you a headache, knock you out, or even kill you. This is easy to avoid, though: Don’t run a generator in your garage or porch, and keep it at least 10 feet away from your house.

Beautiful burning wax candle in holder on tableNew Africa/Shutterstock

Use candles


Avoid using candles. If a fire starts, there may be no phone service, the fire department may not be able to get to you, and fire hydrants may not be working. Flashlights produce more light and won’t burn your house down. Take more precautions and do the 16 things all smart homeowners do once a year.


Talk on the phone

Your home is probably the safest place to be in an electrical storm. But here’s a safety tip you may not know. Lightning can still get to you through the conductive paths in your house; that means your wiring, your plumbing, and water. Talking on a corded phone, taking a shower or bath, working on your desktop computer, or handling power tools during an electrical storm isn’t much safer than standing outside. It’s best to stay away from all water and appliances until the storm passes.


Evacuate your home during a tornado warning

If a tornado warning is issued, your evacuation route should be as follows: Leave the room you're in and go to either the basement or the innermost room in your home. That's it—put down the car keys and go hide. If you do find yourself stuck in your car during severe weather, having an emergency kit in your car is smart. If you're on the road often, remember these safe driving tips for 10 other scary scenarios.

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Don’t get locked in

Garage door openers lock up when the power goes off. Make sure everyone in your home knows about the cord that releases the door from the opener. That way, they can lift the door open and get the car out in an emergency.

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Be unsure of your safe place

Whether you're at home or the office, know where you're going to go during severe weather. If you don’t have access to an underground shelter, move to the interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Take a few minutes and put together a family survival plan. It’ll help keep your loved ones and your home safe. Keep in mind these everyday fixes to survive everything

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Use electronics

If you’re wet, barefoot, or standing in water, don’t use anything electric or try to plug-in power cords. Learn what you can do to get your home ready for floods here.

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Over-use the fridge

Keep the fridge closed. The less you open fridge and freezer doors, the longer your food will stay cold. Every family should have a Storm Readiness Kit. Your fridge might be on the fritz even outside of an emergency situation if you're guilty of these 7 things that can shorten the life of your refrigerator

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Board up windows during a storm

The time to board up your windows is on a calm, sunny day before a storm arrives. If you wait until a tropical system starts bringing wind and rain to the area, you're endangering yourself. Large boards could be blown out of your hands, becoming a dangerous projectile. Listen to the forecast and make a decision several days in advance whether you're going to board the windows or not.

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Run a charcoal grill indoors during a power outage

Charcoal grills emit deadly carbon monoxide if you run them inside. Don't allow yourself to make a fatal mistake. Keep your generators and grills outside, even if it's uncomfortably cold and would be far more convenient if they were indoors.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman