It will soon be tornado season again. Begin preparing now by putting together an emergency kit and establishing a family communications plan. tornado preparedness can be the difference between life and death for you and your family. The following is a brief overview of preparing for a natural disaster; you may find complete information at RedCross.org and at government sites.
For most people, when a tornado approaches there is no time to prepare, you must immediately go to your safe place. The best tool you can have is a NOAA weather radio, your eyes and your instincts. Watch your pets, they often sense changes in the atmospheric conditions that may serve as a warning. Unusual nervousness, agitation and hiding may be a sign that conditions are right for a tornado, or that a tornado approaches. Tornados are not always immediately detected by radar, listen to your instincts.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio (If you don’t have one buy one), radio or television newscasts for the latest information during the threat of bad weather. In any emergency follow the instructions given by local emergency management officials. Be alert to changing weather conditions and watch for approaching storms. Monitor for the following warning signs of an approaching tornado:
- Dark low hanging clouds or of the sky going green. Rotation may be seen in the clouds.
- Large hail
- Loud roar that may sound like a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately. Go to your place of safety.
Preparing a Disaster Supply Kit
A disaster supply kit includes the basic items your family may need after a disaster occurs. Assemble your kit now, before tornado season. Once a tornado approaches you will not have time to gather the things you will need.
You will need food, water and supplies for at least 72 hours. Be aware, when damage is wide spread it may take longer for help to arrive.
- Have at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food that your family will eat.
- Provide food for babies and any family member on a special diet.
- Avoid salty foods that cause thirst, water may be unavailable except for what is in your kit.
- Have a can opener and eating utensils.
- Consider having a gun in your kit. After disasters looting may occur and looters are often armed and willing to use force.
Water is a necessary item in any emergency supplies kit. After any disaster water may not be available, or may be contaminated if it is. Stock a supply now before it is needed.
- You will need one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation. During extremely hot weather have extra water on hand; perspiring will increase the need for more.
- Plan for more water for nursing mothers, children or those who are ill.
- Keep a minimum of a three-day supply of water per person.
Storage of Water
Purchase commercially bottled water, store in its original and unopened container until you need it in a cool, dark place.
If you are going to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles. Do not use not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. They cannot be properly cleaned to prevent bacterial growth when water is stored in them.
More information on water treatment is available at RedCross.org
You may want to store extra water for flushing toilets, a gallon is generally enough to flush a toilet.
- Prescription medication and eyeglasses
- Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NCAA Weather Radio with alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit with ample supplies. Injuries may be to multiple persons.
- Whistle to signal for help.
• Dust masks, plastic sheeting and duct tape for sheltering in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Cell phones with chargers (car and home), inverter or solar charger
- Infant formula and diapers
- Food and water for your pet
- Cash and change
- Important documents such as insurance policies, ID and bank account records stored in water proof container.
- Emergency guide to first aid book
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Complete change of clothing including sturdy shoes.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Paper and pencil
- Activities for children
In any emergency a family member or you yourself may be injured. If you have the basic first aid supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones.
First Aid Kit
Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. You may consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.
- Two pairs of sterile gloves
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding and bandage wounds (4×4’s & 2×2’s)
- Medical tape
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn ointment
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Peroxide for cleansing contaminated wounds
The above information is a summary; you may obtain full information at RedCross.org
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