Madison, WI,
16:21 PM

Are You Prepared for Summer Storms?

Our 14-question quiz will help assess your readiness.


The summer storm season is just around the corner, and includes thunderstorms, flash flooding, tornadoes and more. If a storm is heading in your direction, do you know how to protect yourself and your family?

Here’s a little quiz to test your storm readiness knowledge. (Answers follow.)

1) True or False: A severe storm watch means conditions are right for a severe storm to form. A severe storm warning means a severe storm has been sighted in your area and you should take shelter immediately.


2) True or False: Tornadoes only occur in the summer in “tornado alley,” frequently considered Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.


3) If you’re at home, the best place to seek shelter during a tornado is:

a) Anywhere inside.

b) Your basement.

c) An interior room on the lowest floor – preferably one without windows.

d) Outside. If the house collapses, you won’t get hurt.

4) If you’re in a car when a tornado is approaching, you should:

a) Stay in the car for protection against wind-blown debris.

b) Drive as fast as possible to outrun the tornado.

c) Leave your vehicle and go to a shelter. If there’s no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert with your hands shielding your head.


5) The greatest cause of death or injury from a tornado is:

a) High winds that can knock you over.

b) Wicked witches from the east or west.

c) Buildings being knocked down.

d) Falling or flying debris.


6) During, or immediately after, a heavy rainfall, if rising water covers a road, you should:

a) Stop and turn around, avoiding the water-covered road.

b) Only drive in the water if it is less than six inches deep.

c) Drive normally. Your car is pretty heavy and you’ll be safe.


7) True or False: Flash floods only occur in rural areas.


8) Flash floods are caused by:

a) Quickly melting snow and ice.

b) Heavy rains.

c) An overflowing river.

d) Dam failure.

e) All of the above.


9) If a thunderstorm approaches or you hear thunder, you should:

a) Go inside immediately.

b) Avoid contact with anything metal such as water pipes, appliances, etc.

c) Stay away from windows and doors.

d) All of the above.

e) None of the above.


10) If you aren’t near shelter and a thunderstorm threatens, you can reduce your chance of being struck by lightning by:

a) Avoiding open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.

b) Avoiding tall isolated trees or other tall objects.

c) Avoiding water, wet items and metal objects.

d) All of the above.

e) None of the above.


11) True or False: “Heat lightning” is caused by high heat and humidity.


12) True or False: The rubber soles of shoes or rubber tires on a car will protect you from being struck by lightning.


13) If a wildfire is approaching, you should:

a) Grab some crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows to make s’mores.

b) Prepare to evacuate immediately.

c) Close all doors and windows to prevent wind-blown embers or sparks from entering your home.

d) Both B and C.


14) True or False: If you have a power failure due to a storm, it’s OK to use a candle for emergency light.


How did you do? Check your answers to see if you’re ready for the summer storm season.


1) True.

2) False. Tornadoes can form in any state, any time of year.

3) B and C. Your basement is the safest place. If your home doesn’t have a basement, go to an interior room on the lowest level and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture. If you live in a mobile home, immediately go to a designated shelter.

4) C. Leave your vehicle and go to a shelter. If there’s no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert, with your hands shielding your head.

5) D. The leading cause of injury and death in a tornado is falling or flying debris.

6) A. A water-covered road is dangerous. Even if the water appears shallow, the roadbed may be washed out. It only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult. It takes only two feet to carry away most vehicles including heavier pickups and SUVs.

7) False. Buildings, highways, driveways, streets and parking lots increase runoff by reducing the amount of rain absorbed by the ground. This runoff increases flash flood potential in suburban areas.

8) E. All of the above.

9) D. All of the above.

10) D. All of the above.

11) False. There is no such thing as “heat lightning.” It is an actual lightning strike from a thunderstorm that is too far away to be heard.

12) False. Rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide no protection from lightning. In a car, the steel body and frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection as long as you’re not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you’re much safer inside a vehicle than outside.

13) D. Be prepared to evacuate immediately. Closing doors and windows helps prevent wind-blown embers or sparks from entering your home setting it ablaze.

14) False. If there are gas leaks, an exposed flame from a candle could cause a fire or explosion. Always keep a working flashlight handy.

Check out these related resources:

Tornado Safety

Lightning Safety

Storm Survival Kits

Wildfire Safety