We're all familiar with how quickly Montana weather can change, so it's important to make sure you and your family are prepared.
Severe weather, in Montana, has many faces. In 2015 alone 3 tornadoes were confirmed, over 150 high wind and damaging wind events occurred. There were 165 large hail reports, and 9 flash floods according to the National Weather Service.
So how do we stay one step ahead of the storms?
Having an emergency supply kit is a good place to start. A couple of basic items you'll want to have on standby are: A NOAA weather alert radio (you'll want to make sure you have back-up power and/or a hand crank for this one), a flashlight, extra batteries and a first aid kit. Of course, there are several other items you can add as well: water and non-perishable food - include can opener, cell phones and chargers, prescription medications, and important family documents. It's always better to over prepared than under prepared.
A good rule of thumb, when it comes to severe thunderstorms: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors. It's time to seek shelter immediately or at least find something to protect your head, especially in the case of large hail, as it can cause serious or even fatal injuries.
With a tornado warning go to the lowest floor, a small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as possible to the floor and cover your head with your hands. It's important to remember, while we can't stop severe thunderstorms from occurring, we can be aware of our surroundings and informed about what to do.