Be prepared for severe weather

By Steve Smith
Posted 5/29/13

Prepare your home

    Consider keeping insurance policies and other valuable documents in a safe-deposit box.

    Make trees more wind resistant by removing …

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Be prepared for severe weather


Prepare your home
    Consider keeping insurance policies and other valuable documents in a safe-deposit box.
    Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased or damaged limbs.
    Secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.
    Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors.
    Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry.
    Assemble a disaster supplies kit, containing …
    First Aid kit and essential medications
    Canned food and a can opener
    At least three gallons of water per person
    Protective clothing, bedding or sleeping bags
    Battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
    Special items for infants and elderly or disabled family members
    Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so (remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on).

Create a home
tornado plan

    Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor.    Keep this place uncluttered.
    If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
    Practice your family’s tornado safety drill so that your children feel confident about what to do in a real emergency.
Stay tuned for
storm warnings
    Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information, and know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING mean: A WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area. A WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area.

What to do if a tornado warning is issued...

At home

    Go to the basement. If you don’t have a basement, go to the lowest floor in your house and into a bathroom or closet in the center of the building, away from windows.
    If you live in a mobile home and there is no substantial shelter nearby, get out immediately and head to the nearest building for safety. If you are outside and there are no buildings, lie flat in a low-lying area or ditch and cover your head with your arms and hands.

At work
    Employees in office buildings should stand in an interior hallway on a lower floor.
    Factory workers should move quickly to the section of their plant offering the greatest protection, in accordance with advance storm plans.

Outside or in the car ...
    If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, tornado shelter or sturdy building.
    If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter, immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
    Contrary to folklore, it is NOT safe to seek shelter underneath a highway overpass. If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park.
    Now you have the following option as a last resort:
    --Stay in the car with the seat belt on.
    --Put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.
    --If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
    Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.

After the storm passes
    If your area has been under a tornado warning, be cautious after the warning expires. The American Red Cross advises you to watch out for fallen power lines and use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.


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