Tornado Survival Guide – How to Prepare Before a Tornado

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The weather is taking a turn for the worse and you have just been forecasted for a tornado warning. The sirens are sounding. Are you truly prepared? You are hoping this scenario will never happen to you. However, it can and may happen. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the tornado season, which in many areas is year round.

Should you need to take cover don’t forget to take along your cash and credit cards. The most important thing you must not forget, should you need to run in a hurry, are any medications a family member might need.

If you do not have a tornado shelter then select a place in your home. This can be a center hallway, a closet or bathroom on the lowest level of your home. Conduct mock drills with your family so that they will all know what to do should the moment arise. Don’t forget the survival kit for you and your pet in case of emergency. Its always best to get under a workbench or something that is heavy. Pull a mattress over you if you must, and do not go to your car. Tornados are not straight line winds and therefore debris can fly or fall from anywhere. You want to protect your head if a wall comes crashing on you, and your car is considered debris that can get thrown to bits in a tornado.

Survival items you should have with you include necessities you might not normally think about. You should pack these items in your designated place ahead of time before you really need them. Make a list of items you’d like to stash away, then get everything together and store them where you can access them in an emergency. A flashlight, radio, cellphone, and extra batteries are very important to have with you. A first-aid kit might be needed for cuts and scrapes. At least 3 gallons of water per person should be appropriate. Clothing, bedding, and shoes for everyone. Food and a can opener should also be in your stash. You will need to think about stashing items for the elderly or infants in your home. A first-aid kit should also be included, and don’t forget an emergency kit for your pets also. Have written instructions on how to turn off your water, gas, and electricity if authorities advise you to do this. Include an updated list of doctors, police, and hospitals for your area. You may also want to have a security box with all your important papers, including your home owners insurance stored in your emergency location as well.

Now that you have your items stored away you will want to check expiration dates on any perishables and replace when needed. Clothing and toys will need to be updated for appropriate ages and sizes. Update any address books you may decide to keep in your stash. Pick a day out of the month, for example the first day of each month, and inspect your things. Be familiar where everything is located. You don’t want to be wondering where that first-aid kit is at if you need it in a hurry.
There are some things that are impossible to store away, such as money, I.D., keys, and prescription medications. It is always good practice to keep these items easily accessible in case the unexpected happens. Remember to stay calm, and don’t panic. As long as you are prepared with the things you must have, you are bound to survive almost any tornado.

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