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Storm Preparedness: How to Get Your Family Ready for an Emergency
From Bradley Davis
Across much of the U.S., warm weather often means a stronger possibility for heavy storms, flooding, and tornadoes, putting families at risk of injury and homes in danger of costly damage. It’s so important to be prepared for these events and other emergencies, especially if you have young children, so that you can keep your loved ones safe. Planning for bad weather often means knowing how to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, including preparing an emergency exit plan and talking to your family about what to do if you’re separated during a bad storm.
Even though there’s a lot of technology these days that can help save lives when unpredictable weather turns up, it’s still just that: unpredictable. When bad weather threatens your area, you may see anything from flooding to hurricanes to landslides depending on where you live, and all of these come with possible dangerous ramifications.
Keep reading for some tips on how to get your home and family ready for dangerous weather.
Put Together an Exit Strategy
Regardless of the emergency, it’s important to have an exit strategy worked out for the entire family. Evacuations are held when flooding, tropical storms, or fires are imminent, and often, time is of the essence. Talk to your family about how you’ll leave, where you’ll go, and how to partner up with a buddy so that no one gets left behind.
It’s also a good idea to have a box or bag full of emergency supplies that you can grab on the go or keep in the trunk of your car, such as blankets, ponchos, a flashlight, flares, water, and any extras of medication that you or a family member may need.
Stay on Top of the Weather
Once the storm season hits, it’s important to stay on top of the weather forecast at all times. You might download an app that will notify you when there’s an emergency warning for your area or keep a crank-operated radio handy that won’t need batteries. Knowing what kind of weather is headed your way will give you a leg up and help you make informed decisions.
Know How to Keep the Kids Calm
In the event of a big weather emergency, it’s good to have a plan for the kids in order to keep them calm and safe. Think of some games and activities you can do to keep their minds occupied, such as a scavenger hunt, and have supplies at the ready so they won’t suffer from stress or anxiety.
Prepare Your Home
Making sure your home is ready to withstand a storm can be a big job, so talk to your family about the ways they can help. You’ll want to secure any outdoor furniture or move it inside and make sure windows and doors are protected. Also, if you live in an area where tropical storms are prevalent, have sandbags and boards ready. It’s also a good idea to go over your insurance policies so you know exactly where you stand when bad weather hits.
Keep Your Pets Safe
Storms can roll through quickly, leaving many families scrambling to get their belongings together in order to evacuate or hunker down. In the chaos, pets can get lost or injured, so it’s important to make sure you have a plan for them, too, and know which shelters in your area will allow pets after a damaging storm.
Preparing your family for bad weather is imperative, especially if you live in certain parts of the country. Talk about what you’ll do if you’re all separated when bad weather hits and how to evacuate your home quickly in case of an emergency. With a good plan, you and your loved ones will ride out the storm together safely.
Bradley Davis is a retired firefighter and SoCal resident. He has seen is fair share of natural disasters and knows all too well the damage they can cause when people in their paths aren’t prepared. He created DisasterWeb.net to share his emergency preparedness knowledge and to offer the many emergency planning and natural disaster-related resources he has compiled from his online research. When he isn’t adding new information to his site, Bradley enjoys relaxing on the beach with his wife.