The summer’s unpredictable severe weather and debilitating power outages highlight the need for preparedness planning. We’ve seen devastating hurricanes and tornadoes in the past years and miles-wide fires destroying everything in their paths. Since devastating natural disasters are happening on and around our planet, it’s becoming more important for you and your family to know what to do and how to prepare when weather threatens your life.
Awareness is Crucial
Knowing ahead of time before a storm strikes gives you time to prepare. Today is a good day to check your personal inventory and determine if you have the tools to answer these questions: Is there any severe weather likely today? Is there any developing now? Is it anywhere near me or moving toward me? Is it time for me to take action/go to shelter?
There is a wealth of information out there that can provide forecasts, watches, warnings, radar imagery, lightning strikes, etc. And many of the tools for accessing that information are low-cost or no-cost and easy to use. There may also be a local weather watch organization in your area that provides live or online weather spotting classes. You don’t have to be a tornado chaser to benefit from these classes as you’ll learn more of the mechanics of severe weather and how to be better prepared.
Following are a few awareness ideas to consider:
- NOAA Weather Radios – The Old Reliable of notification devices. While not as high-tech as some other options out there, this is still a good investment for those who want to keep it simple… and who want to be sure they wake up when that Tornado Warning is issued!
- Text notifications – If you aren’t into fancy smartphone apps, you can sign up for a basic text notification that will alert you to those Watches and Warnings. A good starting point to look for these is your local broadcast media station. Speaking of broadcast media, you can also tune into your local TV or radio stations during severe weather to catch live coverage of storm progress.
- Smartphone apps – If there is something weather-related you want to know, there is probably an app for it. This one may require a little research to determine the best fit for your needs. I like using on my iPhone an app from MyRadar.com. There are also those Wireless Emergency Alerts that appear on your smartphone – the ones that don’t require a subscription or an App Store download (remember the Amber Alerts that just suddenly show up on your screen?). These will trigger during Tornado Warnings, but not Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, so don’t plan to rely on these alone.
- Community Storm Sirens – We included this one because it’s still a good notification option for folks playing on the soccer field or walking the dog in the city park. Keep in mind that these are outdoor warning devices only, though. They’re meant to alert groups of people who are outside, exposed, and away from other sources of information. They aren’t meant to be heard indoors or to wake you up at night. Make sure you’ve picked one of the other tools above as your primary warning device.
Sometimes severe weather strikes with little notice, so you need to know how to survive during and after a catastrophic weather event. Weather disasters will likely bring power outages, flooding and communication will be difficult, if not impossible.
If you’re in a flood zone, tornado or hurricane area, be sure you have the appropriate supplies to help you survive. At a minimum, you should have available to 72-hour survival kit. Having a basic 72-hour survival kit will set you apart from the others who find bare store shelves when they try to stock up at the last-minute.
What are some of the key items in your 72-hour survival kit?
- A supply of water and perhaps a field serviceable portable water filter. Water should be stored in containers that won’t decompose. Figure that each person should have about two quarts to a gallon of water every day and keep in mind that heat or lots of physical activity might increase that amount. We often take water for granted, but a catastrophic weather event such as a hurricane can cause storm surges. Storm surges can contaminate water, so have more water than you think you’ll need.
- Hand-crank and/or solar-powered emergency AM/FM/Weather/Short wave radio.
- Flashlights, extra batteries, and perhaps a headlamp.
- First-aid kit with 1 ½” wide roll of cloth adhesive first aid tape and ACE bandage.
- Store some non-perishable foods that don’t require refrigeration or cooking. If a weather disaster strikes a major city, there will be millions of refugees, so you must know how to feed yourself and your family with only the food you can carry. Choose wisely to protect your chances of survival.
- If you’re likely to evacuate, you should keep the survival items in a container that’s easy to carry. Store at least one 72-hour emergency “grab-and-go” survival kit in or near your home in case you need to evacuate by foot, and condensed versions in your cars.
You can find detailed lists elsewhere on this website and online of what you’ll need on hand to survive a severe weather event. Have a checklist when you prepare and be sure everything is readily accessible if a disaster should happen.
From bug out kits to backpacks and first aid kits, LegacyFoodStorage.com has the emergency preparedness gear that you need. These items are a fantastic addition to your food supply and provide the essential emergency supplies you need! From Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes and more, you will be ready with these Emergency Preparedness Survival Kits.
Why should you have a family emergency plan and what kind of things should it cover?
Key points in your family emergency plan:
- Determine a local meeting place with a large open area, such as a park or school, where your household can gather if you are separated and do not have access to your home during emergencies.
- Arrange for an out-of-state emergency contact to reach for coordination and communication. After an emergency, it may be easier to call long distance than locally, or your family may be separated and need an outside contact to communicate through.
- Store your important papers in one easily accessible location, preferably in a waterproof and fireproof box (“My Life in a Box”) Store copies of key computer files, documents, pictures, etc. off site.
- Make sure that all capable members of your family know how and where to shut off the water, gas, and electricity for your home in the event of an emergency.
The Rule of “3’s” quickly illustrates where to place your priorities in times of disaster!
- Three seconds without blood circulation, and you are knocked out.
- Three minutes without breathing/air and you are knocked out.
- Three hours without proper clothing or shelter in extreme weather and you risk hypothermia/hyperthermia.
- Three days without water when physically active in hot weather and people start to die.
- Most people can last at least three weeks without food.
Other things can cause a threat to the atmosphere, besides Mother Nature. The clear and present threat of a nuclear war from rogue countries such as North Korea is yet another reason you should be prepared for survival.
If we did happen to be attacked with nuclear weapons, the aftermath will be as devastating as the actual attack. There could be nuclear or extended winters, radioactive fallout and more. The American Red Cross has preparation tips to get ready if a nuclear event should happen. The world is in chaos now, but not nearly as much as it stands to be in 2018. Be prepared.