Preparing for Severe Weather: Tips to Keep Your Family Safe
As summer comes to a close, this warm humid weather is bound to result in several severe storms all across the nation. While no one wants to think about the worst-case scenario, it’s important to prepare for severe weather and to have a plan when it strikes. Fortunately, in the 21st century, there are plenty of resources to keep you alert and ready for the next time severe weather pays your area a visit. Here are six steps you absolutely need to take when your area comes under a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch.
Once your area enters an alert phase, you should pay regular attention to national and local forecasters as to how the weather is currently unfolding. Sometimes storms come along with a cold front, which meteorologists can track with a great degree of accuracy. By knowing when a severe weather is most likely to hit you can take steps to prepare your home for bad weather, and also check in on your family to make sure everyone is home and safe before the storm front arrives.
Of course, not all severe weather occurs in predictable patterns. Sometimes with increased heat and humidity, pop-up storms can come out of nowhere, bringing heavy winds, rains and even hail and tornadoes. To ensure that you are always alerted to severe weather, wherever you may be, you should download a weather phone app that will notify you as soon as your area comes under the threat of severe weather.
When the worst of the storm is bearing down on your home and when a storm shows sign of hail or possible tornado activity, you need to immediately find shelter in the safest area of your home. This area should be near the center of your house, away from windows and exterior doors. Basements provide the most preferable cover, but as long as you are on the first floor of your home, you should be safe.
Wherever your home’s safe-spot might be, you should also prep it with an emergency kit. This kit should include an AM/FM radio, in case you lose cable, or power. You should also pack a flashlight, a first aid kit, and several blankets, helmets and other protective gear to cover yourself in case of a tornado.
Sometimes when bad weather strikes, we feel as though we should keep our eyes constantly on the sky, but this can hardly be called the safest action you can take while severe weather is affecting your area. The benefit of having television, Internet, and radio is that we can be alerted to severe weather in real time from the safety of our homes. When the worst is at your doorstep, keep an ear to your local weatherman. They will confirm whether or not a tornado has been spotted in your vicinity. It’s your job to keep your family and yourself safe during the storm.
Experiencing severe weather can be traumatic for children. Lightning is scary and thunder can shake the Earth so hard it feels like an earthquake. When the storm gets to the point where your family needs to be relocated to your home’s safe spot, you should try your best to keep your children calm during the storm. Remind them that they will be OK and try to keep their mind off the storm. Keep a list of activities that will keep them occupied and distracted such as storytelling, singing to music or even games including “I Spy” to keep their minds off the storm.
It’s extremely rare to have an emergency situation where a tornado strikes neighborhood, or lightning causes a devastating house fire. However, you should always be prepared with a plan of action in case the worst unfolds. If your home is struck directly by a tornado, stay in your safe space and don’t leave until you know the storm has passed.
No one wishes for the worst to happen, but it’s our responsibility to be ready if does. You never know when severe weather might strike your home. By taking these six steps you are giving your family a better chance to make it out of a storm safely.