Severe Weather Preparedness Week starts March 15, and only one question needs to be asked: are you prepared? Between tornadoes, snowstorms, heavy rain, flooding, hail, and other phenomena, a lot can happen. That’s why today, we’re going to help you by providing a few tips to keep you safe this season…
“March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb,” the old adage goes, but the threat of severe weather goes beyond just the 31 days of the month. It can happen anywhere, at any time. Having a whole week dedicated to just that might sound excessive, but in the end, it’s better to be prepared than it isn’t.
So what should you do when disaster strikes? Here are a few tips:
- Have an Evacuation Plan: In the event of an impending flood, earthquake, or even a tornado, have an evacuation plan put into place. This can include always keeping a full tank of gas in a vehicle, being aware of any road hazards along the way, unplugging any electrical equipment or appliances, take your pets with you, and of course, make arrangements with your friends or family.
- Safeguard Your Possessions: Some things can be replaced, other important documents such as insurance policies, social security cards, birth certificates, and other personal information need to be protected. Look into getting a waterproof/fireproof box to place everything in, or even a safe deposit box at your bank.
- Keep the Sump Pump Working: In case of a flood, make sure your sump pump is working. If not, get it fixed immediately, and have a battery or water operated backup in case it stops.
- Tune in to TV or Radio: Radios and televisions are a great way to keep informed during severe weather. For best results, get a radio that is battery-operated in case the power goes out, and of course, have a set of batteries on hand if case the ones you’re using stop working.
- Avoid Electrical Conductors: In case of a storm, keep away from tall trees or objects, bodies of water, metal objects, electronic devices, downed power lines, and anything else that can conduct electricity.
- Evacuate Mobile Homes: In case of floods or tornadoes, leave your mobile home immediately, and seek something with a strong, solid foundation.
- Don’t Outrun The Storm: In case of a tornado, do not try to outrun it, as it can change direction at any time and cover a lot of ground quickly.
- Keep Away From Exterior Walls, Doors, and Windows: When seeking shelter, seek out the center of the room, preferably in the lowest level, and of course, take cover.
- Create A Disaster Supply Kit: Should the worst happen, there’s no telling how long you could be without the essentials. It could be hours, days, or possibly weeks. Consider packing a disaster supply kit. This will include essentials such as water, non-perishable food, a batter-operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a dust mask, a space blanket, can opener, duct tape, rain gear, extra cash, or more. For a more complete list, click here.
- Seek Shelter: If you’re caught in a storm, seek shelter immediately, whether that’s inside a building, your own home, a safe room, or a hardtop vehicle (do not touch the metal). Should shelter be too far away, remain low and seek out the lowest place you can find.
Much can happen during a storm, and if you’re not prepared, you may be in for a rough time. So as we observe Severe Weather Preparedness Week, make sure that you’re prepared for what’s to come.