Spring is here! Which means so is tornado season. The age-old idiom of April showers bring May flowers leaves out one important detail, severe storms.
Here are some usful tips!
Tip #1: Decide on a safe room/area in your home to take shelter. i.e. closet, half bath, laundry room, under the stairs, even a nice sized pantry would work.
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider when preparing for a severe thunderstorm or tornado. The Red Cross recommends taking shelter in either a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with little to no windows. When severe weather strikes, wind can be traveling anywhere from 50 to over 100 miles per hour. This is more than enough to shatter glass and even rip parts of your home away.
Tip #2: Prepare your “Bug out bag” or a “Shits hit the fan” bag.
Grab a back pack and pack a bag inside of it for each family member. A wide range of accidents can occur during severe weather. It’s best to prepare for any situation with a simple first aid kit, extra batteries, water, extra phone charger, pet collars, blankets and a portable radio. Access to a NOAA Weather Radio can be vital for individuals that live in certain areas where natural disasters such as tornadoes are more prevalent. These radios can provide homeowners with crucial weather updates from local officials during storms.
What Items should go into a kids bug out bag:
What goes into the bag really depends on your child’s age and their maturity. While the needs of each child are going to be different, there are some things you should consider when building an emergency bag for your child.
Basic Survival Items: These should be lightweight, age-appropriate items. Heavier items and gear should always be in the adult’s bags.
- Emergency whistle (clipped to the outside of pack so they can easily find it if they become separated from you)
- Laminated emergency contact list with name, home address, and telephone numbers.
- Waterproof Poncho
- Extra set of clothes, closed toe shoes, socks, pair of gloves and knit hat or bandana (depending on your climate)
- Current medications
- Dust mask
- Small pocket knife for the older kids (Swiss army knife)
Comfort Items: When building a bag for a child, comfort and mental stability are the primary purposes of the bag. Don’t overlook the importance of entertainment and comfort; during a disaster, the last thing you need is a kid who is overly stressed out and anxious (you’ll be very thankful you did).
- Stuffed animals
- A couple small light-weight toys
- Pack of playing cards, or travel size games or books
- An IPad, tablet, or small device to play games on
- Hard candy
- Trail mix
- Drink mix packets
Remember, a kid’s bug out bag is not meant to be an adult BOB. It’s primary purpose is to provide comfort during a stressful situation and give your child a sense of control. With younger children, comfort items are a top priority and will help ensure their overall mental health.
This will depend on a number of factors, such as the area you live in (climate, elevation, etc…..) But the basics are as follows:
- A disaster plan that includes the location of emergency zones, rallying points, multiple evacuation routes, maps of the area, trail maps, etc. (make sure you use a waterproof laminate to protect your plans).
- First Aid Kit
- Professional Survival Book
- Water bottles and metal canteen cup
- Clothing Socks, gloves, rain suit, poncho, jacket, hat, bandanas, and clothing for your environment
- A few assorted knives
- Camp Axe & Shovel
- Radio A must have item for keeping up with what is going on.
- Fire Starting Waterproof Matches, a couple of Lighters, Tinder(dryer lint)
- Cordage (wide variety of uses, traps, etc….)
- CASH & Documents- DUH
- REGISTERED Firearm(s) and ammunition
- Water Purifiers & Filters
- Extra Medicine
- Navigation Compass, Maps, GPS, etc….
- Communication Portable C.B or Ham Radio
- Emergency Food Stuff that will last and give you the most bang for your buck; peanut butter, jerky, sardines, granola bars, salt, dried fruit, MRE’s, etc…
- Shelter Sleeping bag, tent, tarp, etc….
- Extra Batteries; rechargeable with solar charger would be ideal
- Signal Devices Flares, Signaling Mirror, Whistle, fireworks
- Duct tape; it’s for EVERYTHING
Tip #3: Ensure you have proper insurance coverage on your home.
While dealing with severe weather and tornadoes is hard enough, the last thing you want to contend with is the recovery of damaged and lost property after an incident. One insurance provider, Allstate, mentions that many insurance policies typically cover damage caused by wind and hail. We encourage you to talk with your insurance agent to discover your coverage level in case of an emergency.
Tip #4: Keep your smartphone handy.
Try to keep your smartphone handy can prove to be vital during severe weather. If you get cut off from your alarm pad you can utilize your ADT Pulse application to alert emergency services for help. To learn more about what your ADT Pulse app can do we encourage you to read more online.
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I’m available to assist and answer any question you may have.
Realtor ® | Texas Urban Living
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