Weathering the storm

Posted on Mar 22 2024 in Safety

Spring brings babes to barnyards and buds to tree branches. But it also can bring powerful storms causing widespread damage and even death. In the past five years, from 2018 through 2022, Indiana had 40 deaths, 38 injuries and almost $113 million in property and crop damage from weather events in Indiana alone, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather disasters can occur year-round, but most of the worst storms Indiana receives come in the spring.

“While not all damage can be prevented, being prepared can minimize damage and reduce injury or death,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives.

Here are some tips for staying safe before and after a storm hits.


Keep your phone charged and consider getting an external battery so your phone can charge without electricity.

  • Have a battery-operated radio for weather updates.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items. Damage can occur from power surges as a result of nearby lightning strikes.
  • Prepare an emergency kit and create a family communication plan.
  • If someone in your home uses a life-sustaining medical device that requires electricity, alert your electric cooperative now. Plan to have a battery or emergency generator on hand before an outage occurs.


  • If you see fallen power lines while driving, turn around — never drive over them.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, stay inside, call 911, and exit only if your life is in immediate danger from a fire or other reason. Then, jump clear of your vehicle being certain to never touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time; then shuffle away keeping your feet together at all times.
  • While checking for damage outside your home, watch for hazards from exposed nails, broken glass, and broken tree branches dangling on other limbs.
  • Use flashlights, not candles, to inspect your home during a power outage to prevent fire risks.
  • Don’t touch downed power lines or anything in contact with them. Call 911 to report them, as they could still be energized.

If spring comes in like a lion instead of a lamb, know how to keep yourself, your family and your property safe from harm during a severe storm.

Broken pole from Noble REMC
Photo courtesy of Noble REMC 

Lineman at Daviess-Martin County REMC
Photo courtesy of Daviess-Martin County REMC