Preparing Your Family for a Severe Weather Forecast
Weather is unpredictable so it is better to be prepared for the worst in advance rather than waiting to long only to end up not having enough supplies. Even if the predicted storm does not measure up to the expected severity it is still best to be over prepared rather than under prepared.
Severe Storm Forecasts
You should immediately start to take action if your area is predicted to be hit with severe weather. The longer you wait the greater the chance you take of not getting enough supplies or not getting the important supplies that you may need. By acting quickly you are guaranteeing that you will have exactly what you need if the severe weather does hit your area.
The supplies that are needed vary depending on the type of weather that is being forecasted. It best to always be prepared for the worst possible scenario.
Nonperishable food items
Water (For drinking and Sanitation)
First Aid Items
Prescription and nonprescription medications
Flashlights or Lanterns
Fuel (For both Vehicles and back up heating sources)
Candles (not as safe as lanterns/flashlights)
Tips for Severe Weather Grocery Shopping
You should always make sure you have enough food and other daily necessities before severe weather strikes. Before you go out shopping you need to consider a few different scenarios such as; power outages, cold or hot weather following the storm, potential for flooding and/or evacuations, etc. By considering the different scenarios you can better determine what type of items are best for you to purchase. You do not want to purchase perishable foods if your area can be struck with long lasting power outages when the weather is hot because all of your food will spoil. On the hand, if the weather is colder you can always store perishable food outdoors if the power is out for an extended period of time.
Another area that is overlooked is your homes cooking source. If all of your appliances are electric they will be of no use if the power is out. If you have a natural gas or propane stove you will be able to easily cook meals for your family during the severe weather. Another solution to cooking if your appliances are electric is to utilize your outdoor grill. Before the storm hits you should move your grill to a safe area that is somewhat sheltered from the weather conditions such as; a back porch or partially covered area of your deck. It is possible to use a grill exposed to the elements most of the time, but this can be dangerous depending on the conditions of the storm. Always use caution and be extremely careful if you are considering cooking outdoors during severe weather.
Severe Weather Home Preperations
There is always a risk of having property damage when severe weather strikes. It is best to prepare your home as best as you can before the storm moves into your area. How you prepared depends on the risks to your area associated with the storm threat type.
Actions by Homeowner
Strong Winds, Heavy Rain, Possible Flooding
Secure all loose outdoor items, place sandbags around property if you are located in a flood zone, shop in advance for food and other needed supplies
Severe Snow Storms
Strong Winds, High Snow Accumulation
Shop in advance for food and other needed supplies, have a back up heating source, make sure you have your shovels and/or snow blowers ready for use, have extra blankets on hand
Strong Damaging Winds, Tornado
Secure all loose outdoor items as best you can in advance, shop for food and other needed supplies, make sure you have a "safe" spot designated for you and your family
All of the scenarios above have the risk for wide spread power outages that may last for a few days to several days. Always make sure you have enough supplies to assure your family's safety in the event of a long term power outage.
Create a Severe Weather Family Plan
Severe weather can be quite scary especially for children. It is best to have a family plan set in place before the severe weather starts. By having a game plan set in advance you can help lessen the fears of what will happen in the event of severe weather.
Strong Winds, Flooding, Power Outages, Evacuation of your area
Stay indoors and away from windows, give everyone in your home a flashlight in case of power outage, designate a safe area in case of flash flooding, have vehicles pre-packed with neccessary items in the event of a sudden evacuation of your area.
Severe Snow Storm
Heavy Periods of Snow, Power Outages, Strong Winds
Stay indoors and away from windows, make sure all family members have a flashlight, have extra blankets on hand and back up heating source ready.
Tornado, Power Outages
Stay indoors and away from windows, designate a safe area in case a tornado hits your area, flashlight should be given to all family members.
Overlooked Items Needed for Severe Weather
- Manual Can Opener
- Battery Operated Radio or Television
- Landline phone that connects directly to the phone jack, cordless phones will NOT work during a power outage
- Back up heating source
- Battery operated carbon monoxide alarms especially if a back up heating source is being used
- Generator (optional)
- Fuel for you vehicles (if the power is out most gas pumps will not work)
- Cash on Hand (if the power is out ATMs will not work)
- Board games and other activities to keep you and your family busy during a power outage.
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