Your membership has expired

The payment for your account couldn't be processed or you've canceled your account with us.


    How to Prepare for a Weather Emergency

    Consumer Reports offers tips on choosing the best generator, protecting your family and pets, and more

    A truck driving on a highway during a winter storm with a illuminated highway sign overhead advising of a Winer Weather Advisory. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Getty Images

    When you get news of a looming weather emergency or natural disaster in your area, such as the powerful winter storm stretching from coast to coast (status as of 2:24 p.m. ET on February 23, 2023), that’s the time to prepare for the worst and check your readiness for a natural disaster.

    What to do? Consumer Reports offers a comprehensive guide on how to prepare for approaching storms. Here’s a rundown of what to do now.

    How to Prepare

    Get your home ready for evacuating. If a mandatory evacuation is announced as a storm approaches, you should know what to do to your home before you leave. Read more about preparing your home before evacuating ahead of a storm.

    Have a “go bag” ready. In addition to preparing your home, you should have a bag of essential items to take with you. Wondering what to put in it? Read more about what to include in a go bag.

    more on storm prep

    Prepare electronic devices. Having your phone fully charged is only one step in preparing for an emergency. Here are things you need to do with your electronics.

    Don’t forget your pets. It’s always a good idea to take your pets with you when you evacuate. But how do you prepare for that? Here’s how to make a disaster plan.

    Be prepared for a power outage. If you shelter in place and the power goes out, what do you do? Here are helpful tips on how to survive.

    What about a generator? Hurricanes cause more power outages in the U.S. than any other type of weather. If you have a generator, here’s how to use it safely during a storm.

    Which generators are best? If you still have time to buy a generator (and they’re not sold out), here’s our guide to buying the best one for your home.

    Handling a medical emergency. If someone in your family gets sick or hurt during a storm, what do you do? Here’s what you need to know.

    Car safety during floods. Flooded roads are often more dangerous to drive on than they appear. Here’s what to do when you encounter one.

    Longer-Term Planning

    Even if you’re not immediately threatened by a storm or another emergency, it’s always good to be prepared. Here are some things you can do for the long term.

    Update your homeowners insurance. When disaster strikes, you can save a lot of time, aggravation, and money by having a good insurance policy. How do you know which insurer is best or whether you have enough coverage? Check out the best homeowners insurance companies in Consumer Reports’ latest ratings.

    Protection against flooding. Think you don’t need flood insurance? You don’t want to wait until disaster strikes to find out. Here’s what you need to know about flood insurance.

    Have an emergency fund. Four in 10 American adults don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense, according to a 2018 Federal Reserve survey. Now is the best time to get started on making sure your emergency fund is big enough.