Saturday, May 25, 2013

Organize Your Storm Safety Plan

This has been a rough week, starting with the F5 tornado in Oklahoma. Dangerous weather can affect anyone, anywhere. Please take a few minutes this weekend to invest in your safety. Organize a plan to stay safe in a storm.

Think about where you can go in dangerous weather. The safest place is underground but your home or office may not have a basement. In that case look for a windowless, interior room or closet on the lowest level of the structure. Regardless of where you shelter - basement or interior closet - make sure that there isn't something large and heavy on the floors above you. Only in cartoons do people survive having a piano land on top of them.

Put babies in their car seats. Put your pets in their carriers or on a leash when you take them into the shelter. A frightened pet can be unpredictable. 

Keep a battery operated weather band radio with spare batteries handy.  When the weather gets nasty make sure it is on. Do not rely on the storm sirens to alert you. I have been in more than one tornado when the storm sirens did not go on. Weather band radios are readily available in grocery and hardware stores. Silent Call has alert systems for the deaf.

Smart phone owners can download the free Red Cross app. I downloaded it when it first became available, and I have been very pleased with it. The app provides storm alerts and has an amazing amount of information about storm safety. You can find the app at the Red Cross' website page on tornado safety.

Keep at least one flashlight with spare batteries handy. Do not rely on candles for light because they can start a fire.

Create a communication plan. After the storm who will you contact to let them know if you are safe? Who will contact you? What will you do if there is no communication?

Organize a first aid kit. If you haven't done this, now is a good time to put one together. If you have a first aid kit, now is a good time to check its contents to ensure everything you need is fresh and packed. The Red Cross has helpful information about creating a kit.

Be safe. Organize your plan today. Just a few minutes spent in preparation might save your life. If you have some sage advice on storm safety - please share!