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Planning Ahead for Severe Weather

April 30, 2013

Severe weather can strike anywhere, at any time.  It’s important to know exactly what to do if you find yourself in the middle of a weather emergency.  Planning for severe weatheris one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and your family.  Having a sound strategy for every emergency makes sure that everyone will know the steps they should take to stay safe.

Consider the Different Types of Weather Hazards in Your Area

No two areas are the same, so it’s important to think about the different types of severe weather emergencies where you live.  It’s also essential to develop a separate plan for each type of weather.  For example, you’ll require different supplies during a flood than a tornado.  Developing a specific course of action for each situation can help your family be ready for the unique situations involved with every possible threat.

Get a Notification System in Place

When a severe weather emergency happens, it’s vital to have up-to-date information.  Don’t rely only on systems that require power, such as cable news and internet.  One option is to invest in a weather alert radio with battery backup, which can keep you informed even if the power goes out.  Also consider buying a TV antenna to receive over-the-air channels in case your cable or satellite stops working.  Portable weather alert radios and some smartphone apps can keep you notified when you’re away from home, but it’s important to have additional ways to receive warnings and updates in case of service outages.

Create a Family Emergency Plan for Severe Weather Safety

Having a plan for severe weather will help give you and your family an edge during an emergency. Ready.gov has a Family Emergency Plan (FEP) that you can download and fill out.  It provides a step-by-step guide to make sure everyone knows the safest place to go during any severe weather situation.

Building an Emergency Kit is Essential for Severe Weather Planning

When severe weather strikes, you likely won’t have time to gather all the supplies and information you’ll need. An easy way to make sure your family is prepared is to create a severe weather safety kit.  When building your kit, keep in mind any special needs of family members or pets.  Include necessities such as flashlights, batteries, blankets, matches, water, and non-perishable food.  Also create a list of contact information for family, friends, insurance and utility companies.  Don’t rely on your cell phone to store information, especially when an extended power outage is possible.

Severe weather planning takes just a few minutes, and can provide your family with crucial knowledge in case of a weather crisis.


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