The United States of Severe Weather infographic.

The United States of severe weather

Know what types of storms may be typical where you live and what you can do to prepare.

The United States is home to many types of severe weather. Typically, certain types of weather are geographical — tornadoes in the Midwest and South, hurricanes in the South and East and severe thunderstorms throughout. Learn some tips to help you prepare for the weather that may come your way.


Tornadoes usually happen in the Midwest and the Southeast, but other areas within the continental U.S. have also experienced this type of natural disaster. Tornadoes can happen with little to no warning, ripping apart homes and destroying all objects in their path. Here are some tips to help protect your home against tornadoes.

  • Identify, build or install a safe room, a secure and well-stocked place, on the first floor or in the basement of your home.
  • When severe weather is expected, move the following items inside, if possible: cars, outdoor furniture and other objects to help minimize damage from flying debris.
  • If you spot funnel clouds, keep your windows closed. Try to avoid windows, doors and exterior walls during a tornado.

Severe thunderstorms

Many areas of the U.S. experience severe thunderstorms including the Southwest, Southeast, Midwest and Northeast. These storms usually have strong winds, hail and lightning which can pose a threat to your home. Some tips to help protect your home and possessions are:

  • Unplug electronics to avoid damage due to a power surge.
  • Close all window coverings to minimize broken glass inside the house during hail or wind damage.
  • If it is safe to go outside, move potentially wind-borne outdoor objects like bicycles or grills to a garage or shed.
  • When it is time to replace your roof, consider installing impact-resistant roofing materials.


Hurricanes are prominent on the East Coast and Gulf Coast. A storm is considered a hurricane if it sustains winds of 74 miles per hour or more. These forceful winds can seriously damage or potentially destroy homes, and the flooding may cause extensive damage to properties. Here are some tips to help protect your home against hurricanes.

  • Reinforce all points of entry with hurricane-resistant doors and frames.
  • Choose shredded bark or mulch over rock and gravel for landscaping.
  • Seal all cracks and holes of your home with caulk.


Heavy snow usually falls in the Midwest and Northeast with other U.S. areas, such as the mountain West, experiencing snowstorms too. When a lot of snow or ice occur in a short period of time, it can accumulate on your rooftop. Some things to keep in mind if you live in areas prone to heavy snowfall are:

  • Learn the signs of roof collapse including sagging ridgeline, interior water leaks and jammed doors.
  • Add insulation to your attic to help prevent ice dams.
  • If you have snow or ice on your roof, consider safety tips to clear it or hire a professional.

If you live in an area of the U.S. that experiences one or more types of severe weather, it’s a good idea to have a survival kit ready in case of an emergency. In addition, consider contacting a State Farm® agent for your insurance needs, including coverage for your home, car or business.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
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State Farm Indemnity Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm Florida Insurance Company
Winter Haven, FL

State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas
State Farm Lloyds
Richardson, TX

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