Main Content
Safety During the Storm

Protecting yourself and others in dangerous weather

Safety comes first

Safety is our top priority, for both you and our crews, especially during hazardous weather events. Here are some tips to keep in mind to protect yourself in bad weather.

Know how to react to each type of weather alert

Familiarize yourself with the most common types of weather warnings and learn how to respond to each situation. These alerts are common in the spring and summer:


In Tennessee, thunderstorms occur 50 days out of every year, on average. Because storms are so frequent, learning about them is crucial for your safety.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

A severe thunderstorm is possible. Prepare for potential power outages, strong winds, lightning, large hail & possible tornadoes.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A severe thunderstorm is occurring. Shelter inside, away from windows.

Safety Tips:

  • Ensure you’ve followed these preparation tips.
  • Tune in to a weather radio for updates from the National Weather Service.
  • Stay indoors and bring your pets inside.
  • Check the weather forecast prior to driving or going outside.
  • Avoid boats, water, trees, fences and poles.
  • Stay indoors and bring your pets inside.
  • Keep your Storm Kit or “go bag” nearby.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances or use surge protectors.
  • Protect your HVAC system from power surges by turning it off.
  • If you’re outside in the woods, shelter beneath shorter trees.
  • If you’re outside and lightning strikes nearby, squat down and place your head in between your knees to make yourself the smallest possible target.


On average, Chattanooga experiences at least 2 tornadoes per year. Tornadoes are destructive and can be deadly. Follow these tips to protect yourself.

Tornado Watch

The conditions are right for a tornado to occur. Stay alert, identify a safe room and prepare for possible outages.

Tornado Warning

A tornado has been spotted. Take shelter immediately in a basement or interior room on the lowest level of a building, away from windows.

Safety Tips:

  • Turn on your weather radio and listen for updates from the National Weather Service.
  • Take shelter in a safe space immediately if you receive an alert for a Tornado Warning. The safest place in your home is:
  • The lowest level (basements are the safest option).
  • Small, central room away from windows (closet, hallway, bathroom).
  • You want as many walls as possible between you and your home’s exterior.
  • If sheltering in a first-floor bathroom, get in the tub.
  • For added protection, cover yourself with a mattress, cushions or thick blanket.
  • If you live in a mobile or manufactured home, leave immediately and go to a sturdier building, preferably with a basement.
  • If there’s no time to shelter, lie flat in a ditch and cover your head.
  • Never get in a vehicle during a tornado.


Floods cause more deaths than any other weather disaster in the United States. Within minutes of heavy rainfall, floods can occur anywhere at anytime, causing violent, fast-moving waters to surge through an area. Practice these safety tips to protect yourself.

Flash Flood Watch

It’s possible that a flash flood may occur quickly and without much warning. Be prepared to move to higher ground just in case.

Flash Flood Warning

A flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground and do not drive through flooded areas.

Safety Tips:

  • Turn on your weather radio and listen for updates from the National Weather Service.
  • Research your area’s flood risk.
  • Keep your Storm Kit or “go bag” nearby.
  • Watch for rising water levels and identify high ground you can escape to if water begins rising rapidly.
  • Never walk through flowing water. Even if it’s shallow, it can sweep people away.
  • Don’t drive through a flood — this is how most flood deaths occur.
  • If your vehicle stalls in flood water, abandon it and go to higher ground.
  • Practice extra caution at night or when visibility is low.

Extreme Heat

Although Chattanooga usually stays below 89ºF on average in warmer months, hazardous temperatures are possible.

Excessive Heat Watch

Outdoor temperatures may become dangerously high. Check your cooling system and reschedule extended or high-energy outdoor activities. Identify a place where you can go to cool off, especially for children, older adults and pets.

Excessive Heat Warning

Dangerous heat is occurring or about to happen. Avoid high-energy outdoor activities and direct sunlight. Take extra care to stay hydrated. Stay in a cool, indoor location and check on children, older adults and pets.

Safety Tips:

  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Apply sunscreen generously.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • If outside, find shade or wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Watch for heat cramps or signs of heat exhaustion and call 9-1-1 if you suspect heat stroke.


Is your power out? Report outages and stay informed.

  • Text “OUTAGE” to 423-648-1372 to report an outage.
  • The fastest, most convenient way to report outages and get live updates is with the MyEPB app. Download it free on your device's app store.
  • Report outages and monitor restoration progress on your smart phone.
  • Call us at 423-648-1372 to report outages — but beware of long wait times. We get a lot of calls during outages.