Growing up in Michigan, it was rare to experience severe weather which included tornadoes and thunderstorms. After moving to Arkansas earlier this decade, severe weather which includes tornadoes and thunderstorms has become a way of life. Moving to Memphis did not get me away from severe weather. Last year, a horrific storm ripped through the southwest portion of Memphis, almost demolishing the Hickory Hill Mall.
Severe weather is scary and deadly. If you live anywhere, you need to be prepared for severe weather. I have five severe weather safety tips that should help you and your family stay safe.
Severe Weather Safety Tip #1: Make a Plan
The first key to severe weather safety is to make a plan. If you have a plan, then everyone in your household knows what to do should certain events happen. For instance, if tornado sirens go off and your children are outside, they need to come to a certain part of the house. Knowing what to do in a scary situation should cut back on dangerous uncertainty.
The whole family should participate in making the plan. Sit down with your children and explain to them that you are making a severe weather safety plan for the entire family and need their input. You will be surprised at the reaction you will get – your kids will help you make the family’s severe weather safety action plan!
Severe Weather Safety Tip #2: Educate Everyone
It’s important for your children to understand why you have to do certain things during severe weather. Educating your children about severe weather safety could be as simple as watching a news cast. In Memphis, whenever there’s severe weather in the viewing area many network TV stations go to local news. The weathermen are usually very good at explaining the dangers of storms.
Another practical way to educate your children about severe weather safety would be to go online and search for various resources. There’s a plethora of videos of severe weather and several articles about the dangers of severe weather. Everyone in your family needs to be aware of the dangers of severe weather in order to take it seriously and stay safe.
Severe Weather Safety Tip #3: Sign up for Severe Weather Alerts on your Cell Phone
The Weather Channel offers free severe weather alerts for your area via text messages to your cell phone. This way, even if you aren’t watching TV or listening to the radio you will be able to know when the weather is getting bad so that you can get your family together. This is a great free service, and if you are interested you can click here.
Severe Weather Safety Tip #4: Make Sure you Have a Severe Weather Emergency Kit
When severe weather strikes, you need to be prepared. It is important for every family to have an emergency kit containing the following items: battery operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, 3 gallons of water per person in your family, three days of non-perishable food items for your family, and a basic first aid kit. A basic first aid kit is to include bandages, scissors, gauze, needles, tweezers, soap, Vaseline, and sterile bandages.
An important item to note is not to use candles after a severe weather emergency. According to The Weather Channel, candles cause more fires after a disaster than anything else. You don’t want your home to survive a severe thunderstorm, only for it to burn down because you had a candle burning.
More information about tools needed for a severe weather emergency kit can be found here.
Severe Weather Safety Tip #5: Make Sure You Keep Your Prescription Medicines Filled
My last tip for severe weather safety may seem a little off the wall. However, if severe weather strikes you may not be able to get around for a couple of days. If you or anyone in your household take prescription medicines that are refilled each month, make sure you don’t run out of them before having them filled. I know this is hard advice to take at times, as I have been guilty of waiting until I was out of something totally before going down to get it filled. However, if your area falls victim to severe weather it may take a couple of days before you can get medicines. This could be disastrous in certain conditions.
If you make a plan, educate your entire family, sign up for severe weather alerts, have a severe weather emergency kit, and keep your prescriptions filled, you should survive severe weather with no problems. When severe weather strikes, you will know you are ready and it won’t be as stressful.