You might have seen the news lately – the Midwestern United States is getting hammered by strong storms. Even if you don’t live in the Midwest, it’s still extremely important for you to know how to prepare your home (and family) for a severe storms. Weather conditions can be volatile, which means the severity of a storm could change at a moment’s notice. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a severe storm.
Prepare for a Power Outage
In many cases, a strong storm might cause the power to go out in your area. Since power outages may occur even with “weak” storms, this should always be your first priority. If your water supply runs on an electric pump, fill up the bathtub with water. This water can be used for flushing the toilet, washing dishes and other tasks. You should also store some drinking water in safe containers, especially if you don’t have any bottled water stored. If the power does go out, it’s usually best to tape your refrigerator and freezer shut, in order to make sure that they stay cool for as long as possible. You should also prepare candles, flashlights and a battery-powered weather radio.
Secure Your Home
Close any shutters, put away garden tools and make sure your yard is free of debris. Strong winds can cause debris to damage your home and property. You should also make sure that your windows are closed for the storm. Despite information suggesting otherwise, it’s usually best to keep your windows shut during a storm that also has strong winds and/or rain.
Be Prepared to Leave
If a severe storm turns nasty, you might be advised to evacuate your home. Have a “Go Bag” ready with everything your family might need in the event of an evacuation. Have at least a three day supply of food, water, warm clothing and toiletries in the bag. If you have children, you should also bring books, toys or familiar items to make the evacuation less stressful. You might be evacuating to a shelter, and may need to stay in the shelter until the storm passes.
Stay Updated On Weather Conditions
Many strong storms also have the ability to spawn dangerous tornadoes. You need to know as soon as a tornado has been sighted in your area if you want to keep your family safe. Keep watching your local news, since it will allow you to stay updated on the weather conditions and advisories in your area. If your power goes out, turn on your weather radio and continue to listen to any warnings and updates.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice for severe weather conditions is for you to stay calm. Though it’s always frightening to be caught in bad weather, if you’ve made the preparations listed above, you have a much higher chance of staying safe during severe storms. Also, if you have children, it’s important to reassure them that your family will be safe during the storm. Staying calm will also allow you to think clearly in the event of an emergency.