With the recent tornadoes that have moved through the area, it is a good reminder that you need to review your families’ safety plan in case of bad weather or other emergencies. The time to go over your family safety plan is before you need it but with last weekend’s tornadoes, it is always good to review your safety plan with your family, especially if you have children.
Your plan should include the following:
Basic Emergency Supply Kit – Battery Powered Radio or NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries, Flashlight, First-aid kit, Whistle to signal help, Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities. Go to www.ready.gov for a complete list for your Emergency Supply Kit.
Place of Safety – where in the basement or lower level is the safest place or if you don’t have a basement or lower level, which inner room is the safest, a closet or bathroom, or is there another place of shelter that you may need to go to. Don’t forget to grab or put on your shoes, grab a pair of gloves and if you have a bicycle or motorcycle helmet, put it on.
Family Communication Plan – Text, don’t talk! Unless you are in immediate danger, send a text. Texts often have an easier time getting through in emergencies, and you don’t want to tie up phone lines needed by emergency responders (like 911).
Let them know you’re OK! Pick the same person for each family member to contact. It might be easier to reach someone who’s out of town.
Pick a Meeting Spot! Where will you meet up with your family if you have to get out of your house quickly? Where will you meet if your neighborhood is being evacuated and you’re not home?
After the storm has past and your property or neighborhood has received damage, watch for downed power lines, extremely dangerous, buildings that received damage, might be structurally unsafe, broken glass and other sharp debris will be strewn around, trees will have broken limbs and might be uprooted and many other concerns as well. Always be aware of your surroundings, be extremely cautious and take all necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe after the storm.
As adults, we may take some of these things for granted, but if you have children, you need to talk with them about being safe before, during and after storms. Especially, if they are at home by themselves. Don’t assume that your children know what to do.
It’s better to be safe, than sorry.