Wind - What to Do if High Winds are in the Forecast

Overview

When high winds occur, damage is possible. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. Damaging winds may down trees and power lines, causing power outages and difficult travel conditions, especially for high profile vehicles.

Before a High Wind Event

To mitigate damage caused by high winds, take action ahead of time:

  • Trim tree branches away from your house and power lines.
  • Secure loose gutters and shutters.
  • Secure items outside your home - either tie them down or put away - so that they don't blow away or fly through a window.
  • Identify an interior room of your house, such as a basement or interior bathroom, where you can take shelter.
  • Update your emergency kit and be sure to include enough food and water to last for 3 days for each person in your home.
  • Prepare for power outages.

More information from the National Weather Service about wind safety is online.

Downed Power Lines

Never touch a downed wire. To report downed electrical lines:

Road Safety

If you have to drive during or after a high wind event, be aware of possible road closures due to downed trees and power lines, as well as road debris. You can check road conditions and closure information from the Virginia Department of Transportation and from the Loudoun County Traffic Incident Activity website (desktop view) and Loudoun County Sheriff's Department (mobile view). Other things to remember:

  • Reduce your speed. Assume there may be a road obstruction ahead.
  • Move over for first responders and other with flashing blue, red, and amber lights, including VDOT and utility crews..
  • Use your headlights
  • Have a full tank of gas and a good emergency kit for your vehicle.

Other Resources