With tornado season upon us, make sure you know what to do in case of a weather emergency.
Whether you have an emergency alert radio or get alerts on your cell phone (not much help if reception is down), establish a way to find out about dangerous weather, road closings or any other local emergency before you need to.
Assemble a kit
Once you lose power or have to seek shelter in a safe part of your home, it’s too late to wonder if you have the supplies you need. Be sure to put together an emergency kit now that includes, among other things, a three-day supply of food and water, along with a weather radio, flashlight, batteries and a first-aid kit. Visit ready.gov for more details.
Make a plan
Talk to your family now about what you will do and where you will go in case of emergency. If a tornado is headed your way, avoid windows and go to the lowest floor, preferably to a small room like a bathroom or closet. A bathtub can offer some protection. If you are at home and have a basement, go there and get under a heavy table or work bench. Avoid areas underneath heavy objects on the floor above like a piano or refrigerator. Wherever you take shelter, crouch as low as you can, face down, and cover your head with your hands. Also try to cover yourself with a mattress, sleeping bag or whatever you can find to protect yourself from falling debris.
Know who to contact
Your emergency kit should include the numbers for the local power, gas and water companies and also an out-of-town (or out-of-state) contact who may escape outages in your area and whom everyone in your family can call in case you get separated. You can program this number into your phone as ICE – “In Case of Emergency”. If you are ever in an accident, emergency responders will often check for that listing in your contacts to notify someone you know.
Also be sure that your kids know how to send text messages, since they can sometimes get around network disruptions when a phone call can’t.