Best Practices for Being Prepared and Safe During a Storm
Posted on December 18 2019
Bring proactive is the number one way to ensure a safer experience when it comes to storms, especially with the winter months coming up. It is imperative for families/citizens to be prepared for emergencies that are caused by high winds, heavy rainfall, snowstorms, and flooding that stem from natural disasters.
Setting up a storm safety plan so you and your family know where to go, what to do, and what to have on hand is crucial to ensuring your preparation and safety in the event of a storm. Both large and small proactive steps need to be taken. Here is a list of steps to take before, during, and after a storm to help keep your mind at ease this winter season.
Before a Storm (the most important steps):
-Sign up for Storm Alerts. This will help keep you accurately updated during all cycles of the storm.
-Have one gallon of fresh water per person/day for at least three days. This water will be for drinking and sanitation. Storage water bricks can be purchased here.
-At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in a easy to carry backpack
-Have cash on hand
-Pack 1 backpack per person. Backpacks should contain; extra clothes, socks, sleeping bag, toiletries, blankets, medicines etc.
-Have portable chargers and/or a generator handy
-Fill all cars with gas
-Have candles and flashlights with new batteries. Flashlights with solar charge batteries are a great option as well.
-Park cars in your garage or away from trees and open flowing bodies of water
-Check surrounding areas for loose trees limbs, make sure lawn furniture is secure, check that roofing is in tack, and check that windows are boarded up if heavy winds are expected
-Have Walkie-Talkies prepared and handed out to neighbors
-Designate a safe room. For hurricane risk homes make it a closet or bathroom, ideally a room without glass doors or large windows. For tornado risk homes, the safe room should be in a basement. If one is not accessible, find the lowest room in the house that is away from windows and doors.
During a Storm:
- Stay indoors unless told to evacuate
-Bring all outdoor pets inside
-While indoors, stay away from windows and glass doors. Keep interior doors closed.
-If you're instructed to turn off utilities, turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep the door closed.
-Turn off propane tanks
-Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water to use for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets.
-DO NOT shower: electricity from a lightning storm can flow through plumbing
-NEVER use a generator inside your home. Have a safe protected place for your generator
-In severe storms, adults should take shifts to be on guard in case the need to evacuate arises
After a Storm:
-If you have evacuated your home, do not return until officials say it's safe.
-Before re-entering your home, walk around the outside and check for loose power lines, gas leaks, or any sign of structural damage. If there is damage, take pictures for insurance purposes.
-Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you know it is clean and isn't contaminated
-Check trees for widow makers and properly and safely remove them
-Clean up all glass and other debris
Severe storms can be detrimental, but being proactive can prevent a severe storm from being life changing. Once your family develops a plan and sticks to it, you'll feel much more at ease about storm safety. Hopefully your plan won’t have to be put into action, but if so, you'll be able to stay safer and one step ahead of the storm.