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Tips on Emergency Preparedness

Updated on May 1, 2011
Rainsville, Alabama 4/27/2011
Rainsville, Alabama 4/27/2011 | Source

A prayer goes out

Everyone say a prayer for the victims and the families of those who lost their lives due to last weeks tornado's.  Home's can be rebuilt.  Lives cannot be replaced.

I am thankful for the safety of my three children and the rest of my family.  My heart goes out to those who were not as lucky.

A friends brothers home

His brother, sister, and 2 neices rode storm out in small closet.
His brother, sister, and 2 neices rode storm out in small closet. | Source

No Where to hide

They say the safest place in your house is the middle.  Alabama and the surrounding states were unprepared for the huge tornado's that rolled through here on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011.  As you can see from this photo, it was the middle of the house that was totally destroyed.  So, where is the safest place?

Tornado Safety

The safest place to go is a storm shelter or a basement.  Lacking those, head for an interior room, such as a bathroom, hallway, or closet, with as many walls as possible between you and the tornado.  Lie under something sturdy, such as a table, to protect yourself from falling debris.

If outside, don't try to outrun a tornado in a car.  Get out of the car and move away from the tornado's path at a right angle or drop face down in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your arms.

A Mobile Home Destroyed 4/27/2011

What is left of a mobile home
What is left of a mobile home | Source

If you live in a mobile home, go somewhere safer when the watch is given.

You are not safe in a mobile home.  If you can go somewhere safer, you need to do so when the tornado watch is announced.  If you have no way possible to leave, you are safest in a ditch if the tornado watch turns into a warning.

The Watch

Look for rotating funnel-shaped clouds or a rotating haze of dust and debris pulled up from the ground and roaring like a jet plane.  Report them to the nearest office of the National Weather Service or your local police department.

Listen to local radio or television stations for information; don not use the telephone. 

Everyone should have a Weather Radio.  Please be sure to check the batteries or keep extra batteries for the radio in case of power outage.

Being Prepared

We were not prepared.  Our power was just returned to service last night at midnight.  We have been out of power for five days.  There are many still without.

An outage need not be a disaster for your household.  Here is what you can do to be prepared:

  • Stock up on flashlights and batteries, including at least one high power lantern.  Have a weather radio on hand and extra batteries for its use.
  • Be sure to have plenty of candles and some oil lamps and a camp stove.  Don't keep fuel in the lamps or stove, but know where to find it.
  • Keep two 1/2 gallon milk cartons filled with water in your freezer.
  • If you don't have a fireplace or wood stove, learn how to operate your oil or gas furnace manually.  If you depend on electric heat, invest in a safe nonelectric heater and be sure it can be properly vented.
  • Maintain an emergency supply of canned or dried foods, as well as a few gallon jugs of fresh water.  Replace them regularly.
  • If you cook with electricity, have a substitute stove on hand--a charcoal grill or wok, a camp stove, even canned heat--but make sure you have adequate ventilation whenever you use it.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Generator - a generator eliminates the need for all the above but it takes fuel to power it and eventually you will run out.  It is best to keep all of the above on hand and use the generator sparingly.

When an outage occurs

  • If you receive advance warning of an outage, go grocery shopping and gas up the car.  Clean your bathtub and fill it with fresh water.  Even if you don't depend on an electric well pump, public service may be interrupted.
  • Fuel your oil lamps or lanterns make sure they work properly.  Place them, as well as candles in holders throughout the house, making sure they're in the open on non combustible surfaces.  For safety, place each on a "doily" of foil.
  • Move one of the 1/2 gallon cartons of ice from the freezer to the refrigerator; leave the other in the freezer.  At the same time, remove enough food for immediate needs--fresh for today, frozen for tomorrow.  Then leave both appliances closed for the duration.
  • Shut off all air conditioners, ovens, microwaves, computers, television sets, stereos, and so forth.  Such devices could draw a sudden rush of excessive amperage when power is restored, tripping circuit breakers, blowing fuses, and possibly damaging circuitry.

Emergency Preparedness is important

You never know what may happen.  Please, do not find yourselves unprepared.  We were not.  Yet, I am thankful for the safety of my family. 


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      Ken hughes 6 years ago

      What a devastating loss