When Storms Approach
Now that we are a couple of months into spring, it is time we started thinking and talking about storms.
Whether you live in tornado alley, along the coast, or anywhere in between, you will need to start thinking about what your plan is when a storm, tornado, or hurricane is headed toward you.
Listed here are some things to consider, and not necessarily in order of importance:
Whether you are dealing with a hurricane or tornado, you’ll need to make sure your home is secure as possible and find a place where you and your family can stay put. Most people know to stay away from windows and get to an interior room of the home, but since you may be living in your area for a while, you will want to take some other precautions, too.
- Make sure you unplug all appliances and have a plan of action when you know a hurricane or tornado is headed your direction.
- Move your vehicles away from trees, preferably in a garage up against the garage door. Do not leave your car parked under trees, power lines, or in low lying ground.
- Put important documents in a safe place that’s easy to get to—preferably in an area where you and your family spend a lot of time. If you are evacuating, place the documents in a secure room in your home, a safe, or an interior closet. Put any jewelry or small expensive items in the box as well.
- Check your elderly or disabled neighbors and make sure they have a plan of evacuation or a safe place to be in their home.
- Charge your phone and any other important devices.
One of your first priorities will be water. We cannot live more than three to five days without it. You will want to make sure you have good, clean, preferably filtered water to drink. You will need one gallon per adult, per day. This includes not only drinking water, but water for brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.
- Make sure you store water in a food grade container in a dark, cool location and rotate it, as necessary. Most agencies recommend every 6 months.
- Get a good water filter and use purified water.
When you lose electricity for days, do you have food stored up that you can still eat? Make sure you have a few days’ worth of emergency food on hand. Remember if your food requires water, you will need more water stored up to prepare it.
- Make sure you have enough food to last several days to weeks on hand for each person in your house.
- Keep an inventory of the food you have and make sure it is easily accessible.
- Store long term food as listed by manufacturer.
If you lose electricity, you will need some type of light source. It is more convenient to have a light source that does other things. There are flashlights you can get that will also charge your phone, tablet, etc. Having a flashlight that not only will charge using solar energy, but a hand crank is handy in case you do not see sunlight for a few days after the storm.
Having your medication handy is important, especially in a survival situation. Pharmacies will not be open due to damage or power outages, so you’ll need to make sure you are well stocked on all your necessary medications.
- Have a “medicine bag” where you keep your medications, along with a list of meds and dosages, in the event you need medical care and are unable to communicate what you take.
- With enough warning, you can make sure you have all your medications for at least a month when the storm hits. Don’t let your medicine get down to one or two tablets when you call in your refill.
- First Aid
We never know what may happen, so having a first aid kit on hand is essential. Make sure you’ve gone through it and it contains everything you’ll need to take care of minor scratches, scrapes, bumps, and bruises. Add anything to it that you use monthly or weekly, like ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Assume you won’t be able to go to the store for several days as they come in and clean up after the tornado or hurricane. Can you take care of your family with what you could put into one safe room for up to two weeks?
Another thing to consider is whether you’ll be asked to evacuate instead of riding out the storm at home. Can you put the items you need into your car with your family and leave your home for several days?
Having a plan first is essential. Adding to this list until it’s something you feel comfortable with comes next.