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4 tips for preparing for severe weather

Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself, your family, and your home ready for severe weather.

WASHINGTON — With significant weather possibly headed to the DMV, now is the time to prepare. Here is a four-step checklist to make sure you are ready. 

Step One: The most important, have a way to get weather information. We recommend our WUSA9 app, but whatever app you use make sure you allow location and notification services so if there is a storm in your area, we can let you know. 

Speaking of notifications, make sure the sound is loud enough on your cell phone that you will hear it in your sleep since some of us might still be snoozing when the storms come through.  

Step Two: Have a plan! Know where you will go in your home, apartment, or office building if there is bad weather. This should look like a basement or a windowless interior room on the lowest level possible. 

Once there, protect your head using what you’ve got. Pillows, mattresses, and bike helmets are all household items that can be useful. If children will likely be in the home during a weather event, talk with them about what to expect and make sure they know exactly where to go and what to do.   

Step Three: Take care of the outside of your home. Have the car in covered parking to protect it from flying debris and hail. 

If you safely can, try to cut down tree limbs that extend over your roof or driveway. If you have a trampoline, stake it down. Bring inside, cover, or tie down your lawn decorations, patio furniture, and outdoor plants.  

And finally   

Step Four: Prepare for power outages. If you have a charging block, have it fully charged with the right power cord for your device. 

If you have a backup generator, make sure it is running in a well-ventilated outdoor area away from your home's windows and vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.  

With these tips in mind, you should be well prepared for the next round of significant weather.

WATCH NEXT: Here's how tornadoes are formed

WUSA9 meteorologist Topper Shutt explains the formation of a tornado. If there's a tornado warning, have a plan in place and stay away from windows.

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