Our Plan: Tornadoes

Do you have a plan for your home in the event of a tornado? The past week saw deadly and destructive tornado outbreaks across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. Once again, it is tornado season and now is a great time to get prepared.

In my home, that means we have a plan in the event of menacing weather. This is what we do:

1. We Stay Informed –  When there is the possibility of dangerous weather, we keep the TV on local weather stations for the latest news. Since tornadoes are so localized (not like a hurricane) we keep an eye on the weather, but when the neighborhood tornado siren is activated, we move into our safe place.

2. We Have Identified Our Safe Place – Experts and I’d have to say common sense say get somewhere low and fortified. Ideally, this is a basement, storm cellar, or storm shelter. If you don’t have those, it is advised to take shelter on the first floor of a home in a bathroom or small interior closet. For us, it’s the interior closet option. I call it the Alamo, and I pray it never comes to that, but in our house it’s the best place. It is close to the center of the home, shares a wall with a bathroom for some added reinforcement, has no windows and does not share an outside wall.

3. We Have Some Provisions –  I’m not prepared for a nuclear winter. We don’t live in an area prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, brush fires or flooding –  2010 being an exception. Around Tennessee, it’s tornadoes, but it is hard for me to imagine having to go it alone for days without assistance. That in mind,  I have converted an old backpack into our “emergency” bag. It contains essentials only: water, snacks, blanket, flashlight, first aid kit, medicine, and room to push in a purse, wallet, cell phones and chargers. Also, a small weather radio. If we have to take shelter, everyone puts on long pants, long-sleeved shirts, thick-soled boots or shoes, rain gear and the kids each have a sleeping bag back pack. We even have gloves, goggles and helmets for the kids.

Hopefully, I’ll never have to see if I was prepared enough. The worst thing we could do is leave the house and try to scramble to another location, so we’ll make out stand at home.

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