ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Spring and severe weather go hand in hand this time of year, and with severe storms starting to show up more in the forecast, here are some tips and reminders on how to navigate potential warnings, and the damage that could follow. 

Storm damage can happen when you least expect it to, and with strong winds one of the most common storm impacts in our area, it’s a good idea to have a plan in case of power outages or potential damage to your property. 

News 8 spoke with Public Information Officer Stacy Bartl from Avangrid who says the most common hazards to accompany damaging winds are downed power lines. 

“Never approach a downed power line, assume every line is live. Stay at least 30 feet away. Make us aware, call the toll free numbers, respond to social media. If a road is flooded, turn around, go back the way you came, never approach any infrastructure that’s down,” Bartl says.

Understanding what it means and what to do when a warning is issued can make a huge difference, so let’s break it down.  

When a severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the National Weather Service, it means a thunderstorm is capable of producing damaging winds, hail, or even tornadoes in the next 30 minutes or less. 

With those threats in mind, If you’re outside, that’s your cue to head inside as soon as possible. If you’re already inside, you’re going to want to stay there, get away from the windows and keep a reliable source of information with you such as a phone or a TV to get the latest weather updates. 

“We can’t control the weather but certainly we can control the extent to which we prepare and share valuable information, so again connecting with us in whatever way people are comfortable with the app, social media channels, it’s imperative,” Bartl says.   

With more of us getting outside to enjoy the warmer weather, just remember that when thunder roars, head indoors.