National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
News Headlines

Common Fears and Concerns Regarding Severe Weather

These pages were created from tips provided by meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Norman, OK and Kansas City, MO

Family Communication

I'm afraid I'll be separated from my family during the storm, or that we won't be able to communicate with each other after a bad storm.


Cell phone service, internet access and electrical power may all be impacted during and after severe weather. It's important to have a plan to increase your chances of being able to stay in touch with your family and friends should you become separated.

FEMA suggests that you:

  • Create a paper copy of your family's contact information and other important phone numbers.

  • Make sure everyone carries a copy in their wallet, backpack or purse, and post it in a central location at home.

  • Remember that text messages may get through when a phone call cannot.

  • Pick someone outside your community who can act as a point of contact to help your family members reconnect. In a disaster, making a long distance phone call may be easier than trying to call across town.

Be sure your phone, laptop, tablet, etc are fully charged on severe weather days. Think about getting a back-up power supply or battery pack, along with a car charger for your mobile devices. This will help you stay in touch longer should you lose electrical power.

On severe weather days, consider using the storm timing forecasts to make a plan with your family to determine a time when everyone should be home.


I'm really scared that a tornado will cause me to lose everything.


There's nothing any of us can do to stop a tornado from hitting us. While the chances of it happening are very small, it's a good idea to be as prepared as you can be just in case. We can learn from those who have experienced this and take steps to be ready to handle the worst case scenario.

Store the supplies you may need after the tornado passes.

Store the important documents you will need to start your recovery.

Discuss and practice your plans with your family.

Consider making your home more storm resistant.