Spring, summer, and early autumn bring the storm season. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms are most frequent during these seasons of the year. In order to ride out this season with optimal safety, it’s important to prepare your family and home for storms. Whether you live in an area that experiences tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes, or thunderstorms, being ready can go a long way toward promoting your safety.
Here are some top tips for storm preparedness for your family.
Of all the spring and summer storms, thunderstorms are probably the least dangerous. However, that does not mean that there is no danger from thunderstorms, or that you shouldn’t be prepared. Here are some tips for thunderstorm preparedness.
* Have a battery-powered radio handy with fresh batteries.
* Flashlights should be handy and working. Make sure your storm flashlights are always in the same place so you know where to find them when necessary.
* Battery-powered fans can help keep you comfortable in case of a power outage in hot weather.
* Keep fresh batteries on hand.
* A generator is not a bad idea for backup in case of a power outage.
* Have a communication plan so that family members can inform each other of a storm warning. If the storm is imminent, family members should agree not to drive until the storm passes. It’s not a good idea to try and “beat the storm.”
* Have non-perishable food available in case the power goes out and you can’t cook.
Tropical Storms and Hurricanes
One step up from thunderstorms and one step down from hurricanes, tropical storms can still do damage. Hurricanes range from slightly damaging to devastating. In addition to all of the thunderstorm tips listed above, you will need additional preparation for these dangerous storms.
* Contact your local Red Cross or your city’s emergency management office and obtain advice on how to prepare the best emergency supply kit. At the minimum you will need to include non-perishable food, water, pet food, a change of clothes, a radio, and a flashlight.
* Find out from the above organizations (or similar ones) what your area’s evacuation policy is.
* Have a family plan, write it out, and make sure everyone in the family has his or her own copy. Things you might include with a family plan include determining whether to gather in a safe room in the house or go to a shelter, what to do with your pets, a place to meet if not all of the family is home at the time, and a clear idea of what dangers are part of these storms (flooding, lightning, hail, high winds, etc.).
* Take disaster preparedness classes as a family.
* Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy. Learn how to file a claim and what your insurance covers.
* Make your home more secure by reinforcing vulnerable areas: the roof, garage doors, windows, and doors.
Tornadoes require a somewhat different approach than the above storms. For tornado preparedness, you will need the same basic things as for a thunderstorm, tropical storm or hurricane, but with the following precaution.
* Your family plan should include a safe location such as a basement or safe shelter. This refuge should be located ahead of time. With tornadoes, the lower you can get the better.