NEWS

Are You Prepared for Natural Disaster?

Although we don’t like to think about it, natural disasters can happen at any time. Two of the most popular for the Midwest are tornadoes and floods. September is National Preparedness Month, so, to keep with its theme, here are some tips to help when it comes to natural disasters.

Being prepared means having all the necessary supplies ready for you and your family. Having enough food and water is very important. It is recommended to have at least a gallon of water for each day you are in an emergency situation. You should also store food that does not spoil easy and isn’t hard to prepare. Things like utensils, matches, candles, important contact numbers and blankets are items you should have ready. Store them in a place where they can stay dry and are easily accessible.

When you know bad weather is coming, make sure to periodically check the weather radar to see how far away the storm is. This would also be a good time to start stowing away your emergency kit (you should have this ready before storms are headed your way). You should also know the whereabouts all of your family members. Encourage them to stick together as the storms get closer. That way, it will be easier to account for everyone when you need to go to your designated area.

You and your family should also discuss where your safety shelter is in case of a tornado. The first step to this is finding out the safest place to go. The ideal place to go is a basement or storm shelter. You should be away from any windows, as they could break and injure you or a loved one. If you don’t have a basement or storm shelter, go to the lowest level of your house. Ideally, you should go to a bathroom, closet, or hallway. Once you’ve gotten to your designated storm shelter, get into the middle of the room and try to barricade yourself under solid furniture.

Flooding is also a serious natural disaster. Last winter the Midwest suffered immense damage from flooding along I-29 and some of the surrounding towns. If you are faced with floods, make sure to evacuate if you are told to do so. However, do not drive around barricades as they are there to keep you safe. Move to a higher area, but do not go into a closed attic as you could become trapped if the area floods. In dire situations, go to the roof and try signaling for help. Keep your emergency kit in a container that will remain dry like a plastic tub and plastic bags.

Although unfortunate events can happen, there are ways to prepare yourself for them. You should always be aware of the hazardous weather and the types of natural disasters where you live. Using these tips can help you save yourself and others from dangerous weather.