How can YOU prepare for a storm this year? Storms and tornadoes are potential problems every year with severe weather often causing loss of utilities and water, or even shelter and food, for hours or days.
Are YOU ready?
Fortunately, the potential for severe weather is usually announced in advance so you’ll fare much better if you have an emergency plan and remember to refer to it when there is a weather warning. Working with organized lists and prepared kits will save time and sanity.
If you are a person with special needs, register with the local emergency management agency, police, and fire departments so they’re aware in advance that you may need their help in an emergency.
Start NOW to prepare for a storm
Make ONE Master Emergency List to follow so nothing will be forgotten in a time of need. Begin organizing by making the following lists and survival kits. Once everything is organized, just refer to the Master Emergency List to gather what is needed quickly.
Create a Master Emergency List
Having a Master Emergency List is vitally important so that items can be gathered quickly and calmly. Get organized now by personalizing and assembling your lists and kits for the specific needs of your own home.
- Advanced Notice List
- Family Preparedness Plan
- Emergency Numbers List
- Home Inventory List
- Extra Clothing And Bedding Kit
- Supplies Packed In A 5-Gallon Bucket
- Food Pantry Items
- Non-Food Items
- First-Aid Kit
- Emergency Lighting And Information
#1 Advanced Notice List
If you have notice of 4 or more hours, fill up the car with gas and then shelter your vehicles in the garage or under cover if possible (in case of hail or damaging debris). Charge up cell phones. Gather credit cards and cash. Unplug televisions and computers or other electronics.
If you plan to evacuate, shut off utilities and water. Refer to the Master List and gather items together. If staying home, bring the emergency lists and kits with you into the lower level of the house or an interior room without windows. If leaving the home, gather items into the car.
#2 Family or Friends Preparedness Plan
Make an emergency plan with family members or friends that include how you will communicate if there is loss of cell phones, where to meet, including one or more meeting points in case of blocked roadways. Be sure each person has a laminated copy of the Plan.
#3 Emergency Phone Numbers List
Make an emergency phone list personalized with numbers that are relevant for you. Take a picture of the list with your cell phone. Print the list also and have it laminated. Some ideas include:
- Electric company, gas company, water/sewer department
- Doctor, hospital, medical equipment company, poison control
- Local police number, alarm company, local animal control, homeowner association
- Insurance companies
- Plumber, electrician, locksmith, mechanic
- Veterinarian, animal poison control
- Parents or older relatives, neighbors
- Caregivers, babysitters, schools
- Next of kin, a local emergency contact person, an out-of-state emergency contact person
- Bank and credit card numbers
#4 Home Inventory List
Create a home inventory list in case items are lost, stolen, or destroyed. Take a picture of the list and purchase receipts. Keep these pictures on your cell phone, a backup on the cloud, off premises with a trusted loved one, or in a bank safe deposit box. Use your phone camera to make a video inventory, as well. There are also smart phone apps made specifically for this purpose, too.
#5 Extra Clothing and Bedding Kit
Include extra clothing (underwear, socks, shoes, sweatshirt, jacket), soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other necessary grooming supplies. Pack lightweight bedding.
#6 Supplies Packed in a 5-gallon Bucket
A 5-gallon bucket with small toolkit, rope or twine, matches, lighters, plastic and/or canvas tarp, lantern, emergency radio, flares, and a fire extinguisher can be helpful if already gathered and ready to be put into a car.
#7 Food Pantry Items
Keeping a long-term food pantry can be a lifesaver. If you are sheltering in place, you’ll remain stress-free knowing you have these items. If you have to prepare to leave your home, you can make a quick grab bag from your long-term shelves. Here are some to consider:
- Nut butters (almond, cashew, peanut)
- Pasta and rice
- Favorite canned or jars of sauces (pasta, simmer sauces)
- Dried fruit, vegetables, and meats
- Granola bars
- Canned vegetables and beans (and a non-electric can opener)
- Coffee and a cold brew coffee maker
- Water (gallon per day per person, plus extra)
#8 Non-food Items
Once again, while other people might be looking at empty shelves in stores, you can easily keep these non-food items on hand for a quick grab:
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Cleansing wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Dry shampoo
- Disposable utensils, plates, cup
- Feminine hygiene products
#9 First-aid Kit
Keep a first-aid kit handy. Buy an already-made kit or create your own. Be sure to include a first-aid manual, anti-allergy medication, bandages, gauze, ace bandages, tweezers, antibiotic ointments, bug spray, pain reliever, and any prescription medications for family members (and pets).
#10 Emergency Lighting and Public Information
What will you do for lighting if the power goes out? Plug-in outlet flashlights are perfect for the first hours or night. They immediately respond with light when a room becomes dark. Solar-powered or battery-powered lanterns are important. Keep extra batteries on hand. Headlamps can be useful to keep hands free for other items. Outdoor solar lights can be brought indoors to light up living areas, hallways, stairs, and bathrooms, as well. Just take them back outdoors the next day to recharge.
Stay tuned in to emergency information with hand-cranked, battery- or solar-powered emergency radios.
A Master Emergency List is your lifesaver
If you haven’t created your emergency plans or kits yet, begin by tackling one item of the Master Emergency List at a time. Sleep better knowing you’ve done everything you can for yourself and your family. Reading this article on tornado facts may be helpful to you, also. Please share this article with your friends and family to help keep them safe, too.
Please share your thoughts in the comment box below…
Are YOU prepared for a storm?
Do you have extra tips or suggestions to add to this list? Feel free to tell us!