Severe weather

Prepare for Severe Weather

The City of Austin encourages you to prepare for severe weather. Don’t wait for the extreme weather, get ready now! 

Springtime in Austin, Texas also brings severe weather such as thunderstorms, risk of tornados, straight-line winds, and hail. Prepare now by monitoring weather conditions, knowing safe places to shelter, and have a way to receive watches and warnings.

Severe weather events such as tornadoes, hailstorms, straight-line winds, thunderstorms, and flash floods can occur unexpectedly throughout the severe weather season.  

 Here are some essential emergency preparedness steps and tips for severe weather:  

  • Make a plan: Create an emergency plan with your family that includes designated meeting spots and emergency contacts. Make sure everyone knows what to do and practice your plan.  

  • Build an emergency kit: Prepare an emergency kit with essentials such as non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, first-aid supplies, and any necessary medications. Do not forget to include supplies for pets.  

  • Know Your Neighbors: By knowing your neighbors and building a strong network, you can increase your community's readiness level in an emergency. 

  • Stay informed: Keep your cell phone charged or a battery-powered radio to monitor local weather conditions. Sign up for emergency notifications from to receive important information during emergencies. 

  • Protect your property: Secure loose items such as outdoor furniture and garden tools that could become dangerous projectiles during high winds. Keep trees trimmed to prevent damage from falling branches. 

  • Seek shelter: If severe weather is approaching, seek shelter in a safe location such as an interior room on the lowest level of your home. 

  • Turn off utilities: Know how to turn off gas, water, and electricity in case of an emergency. 

  • Storm recovery: Safely check your property and/or automobile for any damage. If you see any damage, take photos for insurance purposes. Be aware of potential scams looking to take advantage of damage from the storm. Work with your insurance representative to find reputable businesses for any needed repairs.

Austin Code

Common weather-related issues associated with property damage may include no hot water, burst pipes, and cracks in the ceiling or walls. One way to prevent damage is to proactively follow these property maintenance tips:  

  • Test your gas service lines annually for possible leaks.  
  • Check if your furnace is operating correctly.  
  • Check if the boilers are working as intended.  
  • Check if you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  

Tenants who experience unresolved code violations can request a Code Inspector by calling Austin 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000. Visit the Austin Code Safe and Sound webpage for more property maintenance tips. 

Austin Water

Austin Water encourages customers to take steps to prepare for severe weather. Following a few, easy steps now will help customers protect their property and prevent damage when severe weather arrives in Austin.  

Locate your water shutoff. Locate the water main shutoff valve and keep it clear of debris and obstacles at all times. For most homes, the property owner’s shutoff valve is on your side of the water meter at the meter box. For renters, please consult with your property manager. If you cannot find your shutoff valve or if it is damaged, then you should be prepared to access the City shutoff valve in the meter box in an emergency. You may need a water meter key to open the meter box, which can be purchased at most hardware stores. Watch a video about how to locate your water shutoff.  
Gather supplies to be prepared. Having one gallon of water per person and pet per day for seven days on hand to help avoid the rush at stores when the first severe storm of the season approaches.  

Stay Informed: 



Austin Energy

In case of a power outage:  

  • Unplug appliances and turn off most lights to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.  
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed during an outage and follow FDA guidelines for food safety.

Electrical Safety Tips:  

  • Do not drive over or go near a downed power line, as it could be energized. Call 311 if you see a downed line to report it. If the line is sparking, call 911.  
  • If you see limbs on wires or see downed tree limbs, please call 311 to report them.

  Stay Informed   

Austin Transportation & Public Works

Before driving in severe weather this season, be sure to:   

  • Approach intersections with caution and always treat dark signals as an all-way stop.
  • Check for updated weather conditions.
  • Avoid bridges and overpasses.
  • Check tire pressure and tread.
  • Make sure windshield wipers and lights are functioning.   
  • Keep an emergency kit with the following items in your vehicle: 
    • Jumper cables
    • Flares or reflective triangle
    • Car cell phone charger
    • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction. 

Austin Travis County EMS

The best advice for severe weather is to remain indoors if at all possible and remain “weather aware.” Stay tuned to local weather forecasts for weather advisories, traffic updates, and road closures.  

Keep your phone and other media devices fully charged in case of a power outage and consider a battery- or solar-powered weather alert or AM/FM radio for your residence to keep you informed in the event of a power failure.