Spring and summer is a time when the weather is often unpredictable. And the weather may turn turbulent, including tornadoes. Residents can prepare for severe weather including tornadoes by doing the following:
- Designate an area in your home as a shelter area. Use an interior room (away from windows or outside doors) or hallway on the ground floor. If you live in a mobile home, find a building nearby where you can take shelter.
- Have an emergency plan for your family members. Agree on a targeted spot where to meet I case you get separated.
- Keep your vehicles filled with gasoline or diesel. If a tornado knocks out the electric system, it could be days before electricity is restored.
- Keep bottled water on hand for emergencies. Have at least one gallon per person per day for at least three days.
- Keep enough food to last each family member at least three days. Have canned (along with a manual can opener or use self-opening cans) and boxed foods because they require little preparation and stay good for long periods of time. Replace the food every six months. If you have babies or people with special diets, be sure and have enough supplies on hand for them as well.
- Keep a battery-operated-radio, flashlights, spare batteries, paper plates and plastic utensils, garbage bags and blankets or sleeping bags available.
- Make sure that legal documents such as birth and marriage certificates, inventory of household goods, bank account numbers) are kept and stored in a safe place such as a safe.
- Keep a first aid kit on hand. There are many commercially available first aid kits available that contain items you may need.
- Keep your prescriptions filled.
- Know how to shut off the water, electricity and gas to your home.
- Check that your insurance coverage is up-to-date and provide good coverage.
- Plan on how you will take care of any elderly or disabled family members and your pets.
- If you have to evacuate, bring your disaster supply kits, wear sturdy shoes and clothing umplug home electronics, lock windows and doors, turn off water, electricity and gas, and obey instructions from the authorities.
These are a few of the items or actions needed to prepare for an emergency such as a tornado. More information can be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website www.fema.gov