Are You Prepared? What Your Tornado Safety Kit Should Include
All this week, the National Weather Service has been issuing stern warnings about a “Life-Threatening” tornado outbreak spanning through the plains and possibly affecting our listening area this Saturday. Research of similar outbreaks in the past has shown time and again that with a little planning and preparation at the household level, the deadliest of storms can be very survivable a vast majority of the time. Here’s what to do to make sure your family is prepared for severe weather:
- Determine your shelter in the event of severe weather. The general rule of thumb is to place as many walls between you and the storm as possible. Basements or re-enforced storm rooms are ideal, but interior bathrooms or closets are generally the best option if your home isn’t equipped with a storm shelter. Once you have determined your shelter, be sure and register it with your local fire department so they will know where to look for you in the event your home is damaged. CLICK HERE for the WFPD online shelter registration.
- Make a plan for what your family will do in the event of severe weather. The National Weather Service has prepared a great document on how to do just that, and you can find it HERE.
- Build your kit. Here’s some items you will want to include:
- a whistle
- a permanent marker
- a small radio, preferably a self-powered radio
- a flashlight, preferably a self-powered flashlight
- Bicycle or Motorcycle helmets (A large number of tornado deaths are caused by head trauma)
- a medium sized pack of batteries
- canned food or power bars
- a plastic bag
- a hand-powered can opener
- a few small plastic dishes and silverware
- two small blankets
- a phone
- a few water bottles
- a first aid kit
- money (preferably small bills)
- a car charger for your cell phone
- a spare set of keys to your vehicle and home
- a extra change on clothes for each person
- anything you may need for pets
- anything you may need for children
- Photo ID and a copy of your recent utility bills as proof of residence in the event of catastrophic damage to your neighborhood
For more information about tornado safety, you can hear my interview with local weather expert John Cameron about the lessons we can learn from Terrible Tuesday and tornado safety. There is also LOTS of great information on the National Weather Service website.
Here are a few ways to monitor weather conditions:
- Tune to NewsTalk 1290 for the latest severe weather updates. In the event of any severe weather affecting the listening area, we will be bringing you live, local severe weather coverage. Keeping you and your family safe is always top priority for all of us at NewsTalk 1290. And don’t forget, you can always listen live to NewTalk right here on our website as well as on our radioPup mobile app.
- Install Weather Alert USA to your iPhone. This is a great app that will send you push notifications on your phone anytime severe weather is affecting your community. The alerts are fully customizable, so you can set your location and what type of alerts you would like to receive.
- Purchase a NOAA weather radio for your home or workplace. This will sound alerts in the event of severe weather in your community.
- Follow the latest regional weather developments on the NWS Norman Office Homepage.
- View live streaming video of storm spotters anywhere in the country on IMAP.TV. This website allows you to get a first hand look at severe storms all over the country.