As tornado season begins, the two most important things to remember are these:
-Tornadoes can happen ANY time of the year, at ANY time of the day
-Always heed the warnings and take shelter even if you can’t see the tornado
You’ve witnessed the destruction tornadoes have had on various parts of the country. You know how unpredictable their path and destruction can be. So, it’s best to always be prepared and ensure your family knows what to do. Here are some tips to help you prepare before severe weather strikes your area.
-Prepare your emergency kit. You need to ensure you have non-perishable foods, trash bags and first aid kit, all preferably in a sealed container or bucket. Here’s a great list to help you start building your emergency kit. You might even have extra emergency supplies stored in your Cook shed.
Some extra items ready.gov suggests to add to your kit:
-wrench to turn off utilities (water, gas etc)
-whistle to signal for help. It might be a good idea to give each family member these as you move to your safe place in the event a tornado warning is issued.
-3 day supply of water
-Make a plan. In an emergency, it’s important everyone in your family knows what to do in case of a tornado. Ready.gov has various plans you can print out and fill out for your family. Some of the key questions you need to answer:
-Where is your safe place? This should be in the lowest level, most interior, windowless area of your home. The best place is a basement or storm shelter. If you live in a mobile home you need to have a sturdy building or shelter nearby you can get to quickly.
-How will you and other family members receive weather alerts? Does everyone have phones with weather apps and the alerts turned on? Does your home have a weather radio?
-Who should be listed on your emergency contact list? Make sure each family member keeps a copy of it in their purse or wallet.
-Where is your meeting spot or outside contact if your family is separated? It’s a good idea to have at least one contact number that’s out of town or state, just in case local connections are temporarily shut down. You can also use the Red Cross Safe and Well website to inform family and friends of your welfare.
As you’re creating the plan, remember that you won’t always be home together when disaster strikes. Build a plan for if you’re at work or your kids are at school. Also, remember to practice your plan and talk about it with your spouse and children often so it’s always fresh on everyone’s minds.
The mistake some make though, is they prepare but never act. Once you have a preparedness plan in place, ensure everyone in the family knows when to take action. There may not always be time to get an alert, so keep watch on what’s happening.
If a tornado watch is issued, you need to be on high alert, and may decide to go ahead and get everyone to your safe place. But, if a tornado warning is issued, this means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. This is when you need to immediately get to your safe place and not wait another second.
Cook Portable Warehouses wants to ensure you to be prepared for any type of weather event. Here are more resources to help you stay prepared.