ST. LOUIS — When a severe storm is on the horizon, it's important to have a plan in place to limit storm damage and stay safe. Ameren officials are bracing for severe winds predicted across the St. Louis region. 

Ryan Arnold is the Director of Distribution for Ameren Missouri.

"You can get 60- to 80-foot trees that can topple over and take our lines out," Arnold said.

He said crews are at the ready so they can quickly respond to areas that may lose power. They're prepared to work around the clock to repair any significant damage caused by the storm. 

"They are on property across the entire state," Arnold said. "Each division, each district that we have across the state has crews as we speak."

Remember to stay away from anything downed electrical lines come in contact with, including fences or trees. 

"A school-bus distance away is usually a good kind of reminder of what to do," Arnold said.

If you're stuck inside your car, it's best to stay put unless there is a fire. 

"If your car is on fire then there's going to be a reason to get out, but there's a way to get out," Arnold said, "which is jump out with both feet and then shuffle like a penguin to get away and that keeps you out of those radius circles I was talking about but that's the safest thing to do." 

Remember to secure grills, outdoor furniture and garbage cans. If possible, keep cars in garages to protect them from flying debris and inspect trees for loose or damaged branches. 

If you need to report a power outage call Ameren Missouri at 1-800-552-7583. In Illinois call 1-800-755-5000.