Information Courtesy of KCRG
Most schools and work places conduct drills to remind us of how to be safe during a storm. However, with so many people experiencing social distancing and working from home, families should talk about what to do in case of a severe storm. Don't wait until a storm is on top of you to figure out your safety plan.
You should make a basic emergency kit. You should have these things in your storm kit:
- Water (one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Manual can opener for food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Shoes (so you don’t cut your feet if you have to walk across debris)
Those are the basics, and you may have other things you need to add. Consider these items:
- Medicine, including prescription and over-the-counter
- Glasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water
- Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Complete change of clothing
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Books, games, toys, etc. for kids
If this seems like a lot, a checklist can help. You can download one here.
If you’re at home, these are places to go or things to consider for your sheltering:
- The basement or lowest floor of your home.
- Away from windows.
- In an interior room – that is, a room that doesn’t have any walls to the outside. These are usually a bathroom or closet.
- Underneath something sturdy such as stairs, a table, a workbench, etc.
- Cover up with pillows or blankets.
- Protect your head, even if you’re just putting your arms over it. If you have a helmet (such as a bike helmet), wear that.
If you’re not at home, these are your main sheltering choices:
- The designated storm shelter. Sometimes these are marked with a green sign that says “STORM SHELTER” or something similar. If there isn’t a designated shelter, go to the restrooms.
- If driving, go to a sturdy building and shelter there. If there are no buildings, a ditch is often the best option because most objects will tumble over a small low spot. Do not shelter under a bridge or overpass! Debris can easily get thrown into them and you will have no protection.