Editor’s note: In March 2024, we conducted a Severe Weather Consumer Behavior Survey of The Weather Channel app users. Here are our data-rich findings and valuable insights for marketers.

Hurricane season is right around the corner and the forecast calls for one of the most active on record, with almost double the amount of named storms. It’s hard to ignore the increasing severity and volatility of weather. In fact, 63% of people surveyed believe weather is becoming more severe or unpredictable. And while more devastation is likely to come, a staggering 9 out of 10 of respondents have already personally felt the effects of severe weather in the past two years. 

So, how do we prepare for, or–more importantly–recover from, the seemingly inevitable impact of extreme weather events? 

We don’t have to go it alone and–the good news for marketers–consumers don’t want to. People turn to brands, products, and services they trust the most ahead of, during, and after severe weather events. Which gives marketers across retail, CPG, energy, health, insurance, travel, and more, an invitation to show up with empathy, authenticity, and support when it matters most.

The far-reaching effects of severe weather

The impact of severe weather is sweeping, significantly touching many aspects of people’s lives. Where does your brand see itself in this picture?

Physical surroundings

Starting with perhaps the most obvious impact, severe weather can wreak havoc on the physical things in our lives. In fact, 80% of people report facing physical challenges of some kind when it comes to severe weather, notably the safety of their home, loss of gas or heat, and diminished air quality.

Mental health

The toll on mental health due to severe weather is also very real. The fear of being in harm’s way, experiencing property damage, or having a disruption in plans or routines can be incredibly stressful, with 40% of those surveyed reporting heightened anxiety. This increased stress affects all generations, especially younger ones.


Severe weather influences obvious things like travel plans. But it can also come into play when choosing a vehicle to drive or exploring home energy options. The data speaks for itself–84% of people admit weather plays a role in their decision-making process. Particularly striking is the number considering relocation due to severe weather events: 1 in 4 have considered, or would consider, moving because of severe weather events.

Preparing for severe weather 

We have entered an era where severe weather can happen pretty much anytime and anywhere. We don’t have to look too far in the rear view to recall the raging Canadian wildfires, uncharacteristic twisters in the upper midwest, and Los Angeles blizzard warnings. Our respondents also reported an increase in both the number of severe weather events and unusual activity for their location/season. This means seasonal preparedness is an always-on activity, with consumers seeking trusted guidance and solutions year round.

Staying informed  

As a result, checking the weather has become second nature: 99% check the weather more often when severe weather is forecasted, up 18% since 2021. For most, it’s to ensure safety for themselves, friends and family, while others are simply interested in the science of severe weather phenomena.

When it comes to critical safety and preparedness information, people rely on weather websites and apps above all other media sources, including government alerts: 

  • 88% rely on weather websites or apps the most, vs other media sources (#1 response).
  • The Weather Channel is the leading weather provider, with 90% of respondents indicating they rely on the Weather Channel for accurate severe weather information (#1 response). 

Stocking up and charging up

We’ve all been there, faced with rapidly emptying shelves of supplies and essentials as severe weather approaches. Meanwhile, the ultra-prepared plan ahead with fully-stocked emergency kits of non-perishables, flashlights, batteries, and first aid. Whether proactive or reactive, the most common preparation behaviors reported range from stocking up on supplies like groceries, medication, and air purifiers; preparing back-up energy sources; and securing a home, yard, or car. 

Brands can authentically help customers weather the storm

It’s a sensitive topic, for sure. Brands may feel uncertain about how to engage when people are in some of their most anxiety-filled, vulnerable moments. When actually, they’re expected to intervene and provide assistance, whether it’s offering preparedness tips or essential supplies like medication, power and groceries. Not to mention, 94% also expect brands to step up to help communities affected by severe weather events.

TruFuel’s full-funnel lift and engagement

TruFuel, a maker of pre-packaged precision-engineered, outdoor equipment fuel harnessed the power of a weather-driven strategy in 2023. Tapping into their authentic desire to help consumers be prepared for severe weather conditions and outcomes, TruFuel dynamically aligned messaging with real-time, local weather conditions. 

Activated across The Weather Channel properties and digital ecosystem through Adform, this targeted, contextual messaging helped highlight the importance of  keeping generators, chainsaws, snowblowers, and other equipment ready for when severe weather strikes. And, also resulted in benefits for the brand, including:

  • 5% lift in aided awareness
  • 7% lift in favorability and purchase intent
  • 8% lift in familiarity

Secure your weather strategy

Brands can play a crucial roleand earn priceless brand trust in the processby providing resources and support to address the physical, emotional, and lifestyle concerns caused by severe weather. With a portfolio of advertising solutions, we can help you deliver the right, empathetic message, in the right place, at the right time:

  • Leverage Weather Targeting to integrate your preparedness message across the digital ecosystem 
  • Align your brand with seasonal and severe preparedness content on The Weather Channel to help consumers stay safe and informed 
  • Drive awareness with exclusive, native CTV content integration in the LG home screen when there is an active National Weather Service (NWS) alert in the viewers’ local area

Severe weather is a reality we can’t ignore. But with it comes the chance for brands to help consumers navigate this reality, with preparedness before, support during, and resilience after the storm. Will your brand be there when consumers need you most?

Let’s talk

What’s your weather strategy? To learn more about harnessing the power of weather to increase engagement and drive growth, contact our advertising experts today.

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