After the recent swarm of devastating tornadoes, residents in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri must prepare for the continuing prediction of storms. The latest tornado to hit the U.S. left 117 known victims in its wake; it is the deadliest tornado in over 60 years. MSNBC reports that about 1,500 are still missing after the recent storm.
Preparing for a Storm
Experts cannot predict the exact time a tornado will hit. Therefore, it is important for you, your family and business to have an emergency plan that you can implement at a moment’s notice. When creating your emergency disaster plan, include the following:
- Know what to do if your family is not together when a storm hits. Include a meet-up spot and instructions for different scenarios. For example, think about what you should do if the kids are at school, a friend’s house or the mall, if you are at work or are out running errands. Each family member should have a list of important phone numbers written down that each person keeps in a wallet or backpack.
- Know the safest location in your house in the event of a tornado warning. Keep a battery-operated radio, flashlight, whistles, safety goggles, first aid kit and your emergency disaster kit near this location. You should have enough whistles for each family member to use to call for help if any get caught under debris.
- Make an emergency disaster kit that includes water, food, medications, important documents, phone numbers, batteries, blankets, disposable camera, first aid kit, cash and pet supplies (if needed). Use this kit in the event that you cannot live in your home after a storm or you need to evacuate.
- If you are a business owner, create a tornado emergency plan and make sure your employees know what to do in the event of a storm. Designate an area of your business as a “safe” area for employees to wait-out a storm and include a battery-operated radio, flashlight, whistles, safety goggles, first aid kit, emergency contact numbers, important documents and the company emergency procedures manual at this location.
- Create a plan to recover. Worry about your possessions well before a storm hits or after, but do not risk your life to protect your belongings during a tornado warning. Keep photo negatives and copies of important documents in a safe location away from your home or business, like a bank’s safety deposit box. If you have not done this and a storm hits, remember that you can restore wet documents and damaged photographs with the help of a disaster recovery company.