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How to stay safe when severe weather strikes at night

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer

Severe weather can strike day or night, so knowing these safety tips for overnight severe weather could be the difference between life and death.

A charged cell phone, a battery-powered weather radio, a flashlight, bottled water, closed-toed shoes and a big puffy blanket are crucial to have during nocturnal severe weather outbreaks. Blankets or even a mattress can be used to shield your body and head from flying debris.

Shoes are a safety precaution in the event that severe weather causes damage.

Also, make sure you have enough water in case you are trapped in your storm shelter for a time due to damage.

Richard Schraeger, AccuWeather senior storm warning meteorologist, said people don't have to stay awake or sleep in a safe place during nocturnal severe weather events. It is more important to make sure you can hear phone notifications or weather radio notifications.

Cloudy Lightning

A lightning strike snakes its way out of the clouds and across the skies towards the tree on ground zero. (marcrossmann/iStockphoto/Getty Images)

"Parents don't need to sleep with smaller children during these events, just make sure they are aware of where their safe location is and that they have all necessary safety items in the safe location," Schraeger said.

Safety tips for severe events include closely monitoring all weather alerts and warnings issued for your location. Make sure you go to a predetermined safe location when taking action is advised.

Leading up to the event, make sure all cell phones and weather notification devices are fully charged. Schraeger said a surge protector leading up to the event may not be needed, but during a severe thunderstorm, it may help protect your device.

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"The biggest thing to know with these types of storms is to prepare prior to the overnight storms. During the overnight, you may suddenly be awoken by a warning and may have to take action in a timely manner," Schraeger said.

By identifying and properly preparing your safe location prior to when storms begin, you will be ready for what may impact your community and able to properly take action quickly.

"These storms will be hard to identify at night and may result in underestimating the true strength of a storm. Therefore, it is important to adhere to all warnings issued for your location and to take appropriate action when necessary," Schraeger said.

Stay aware through the night by turning on weather notifications, along with making sure your weather radio is fully charged or plugged in.

For more safety and preparedness tips, visit

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