Storms can be frightening and intimidating.
While you may not end up in a tornado that whisks you off to the Land of Oz, you should definitely prepare your house and family for whatever may happen.
Here are seven ways you can protect your home, comfort your kids, and stay safe.
1. Assess your home’s susceptibility
Assess your home’s susceptibility to different kinds of threats that accompany severe storms, like floods or tornadoes. As you gather information from sources like NOAA, look into whether you live in an evacuation area or an area that might be vulnerable to a particular storm.
Based on the area, you’ll be more likely to see certain kinds of natural disasters.
2. Prepare a communication plan
Before a major storm hits, communicate with family members about a spot to meet up in case of catastrophe. Ready.gov, the government resource on emergency preparedness, recommends using cell phones to try and communicate with family members.
Landline phones are often overloaded during severe storms, so a cell phone will be best. Maintain spare portable cell phone power banks just in case the battery dies.
Having a family member or friend as a central source of contact ensures that your family can communicate, regardless of circumstance. Make sure everyone knows this person’s number in case of emergency. Emergency personnel will try to contact an external person that you know. Prepare for this now.
3. Know where to turn off utilities
This step can be easily overlooked during the rush of a severe storm or natural disaster, but FEMA emphasizes that an important part of emergency preparedness is knowing how to turn these off.
Know how to turn off your gas to prevent gas leaks, as these are a major source of fires during a natural disaster and can pose a serious threat if there is a local leak.
4. Keep an emergency preparedness kit
Understand the immediate threats you might face and research materials. A recent New York Times article reviewed over 100 features of emergency preparedness kits and narrowed down the list to just the essential items that you should have prepared.
You can accumulate gear over time. Don’t worry about getting it all at once. If you’re preparing early, odds are you’ll have what you need when the storm comes
5. Have engaging distractions available
If the storm ends up being safe enough that you can stay at home, find ways to help your kids be distracted from the worries of the storm. You can do impromptu storytelling or have a scavenger hunt. Planning ahead of for activities to do with your kids when stuck indoors can be a great way to pass the time.
6. Know evacuation routes
In the case of an emergency, it’s important you know about safe places within the home and what community shelters might be available. Make sure that everyone is on the same page about where to meet and what they should do.
7. Get insurance
This probably isn’t going to be one of your first thoughts, but make sure you are financially secure after the storm. Check your insurance in advance and know what is covered. This can help you prepare appropriately.
You may feel overwhelmed by all the necessary preparations, but if you break them down into simple tasks and schedule times you’ll get them done, you can be ready. Make sure you’re covered by insurance and assess the area you live and the potential storms that may arise. The best time to prepare for a storm may have been years ago, but the second-best time is now.
Bradley Davis is the creator of DisasterWeb.net, a site geared towards emergency planning for natural disasters. As a former firefighter, Bradley has seen first hand the devastating effects that these disasters can have on people. Luckily his experiences have taught him how to handle these emergencies, and now he is dedicated to spreading his own knowledge along with other helpful resources.
the creator of DisasterWeb.net
Source: Safety Hub