Always Be Prepared when Severe Weather Hits

You hear the weather reports. You see others rushing to the store and grabbing milk, shovels, and extra water. Severe weather can strike throughout the entire year, with different seasons bringing various types of storms. Sometimes we are given notice well in advance of an approaching weather event; other times, it is only a few days. Anticipating emergency weather is stressful enough, but having to prepare for it, as well, can be overwhelming. Stay one step ahead of the game and keep supplies on hand for severe weather. Don’t know what you need and when? I’ve got all the details.

The Internet has a plethora of information on how to handle weather and emergency events. Some of the most suggested essentials to have ready include:

  • Tub, bag, or storage area for your supplies that should be easily accessible. Place a list of items within the container on top for easy reference;
  • Water—it is suggested to have one gallon of water per person per day;
  • Food—have non-perishable items for at least a week;
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio and an NOAA weather radio;
  • Flashlights with extra batteries;
  • First Aid kit and emergency reference information, such as a First-Aid book;
  • Extra batteries for all sizes;
  • Whistle to signal for help;
  • Dust masks—these masks help with protecting yourself from contaminated air and damaged housing;
  • Moist towelettes;
  • Garbage bags and ties;
  • Tissues and toilet paper;
  • Wrench or pliers—the tools can be used to turn off utilities if needed;
  • Manual can opener;
  • Local maps—because sometimes a GPS doesn’t work when a disaster occurs;
  • A charged cell phone with chargers and a backup battery;
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications;
  • Glasses and contact lens solution;
  • Infant formula or food;
  • Extra pet food and water;
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person in your family;
  • Extra clothing for everyone in your house. Make sure the items are appropriate for the climate and weather. Also, don’t forget about rain gear;
  • Fire extinguisher;
  • Personal hygiene items;
  • Paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils;
  • Candles and matches in a waterproof container;
  • Important documents;
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape, in case you need to create a wall;
  • Cash—hidden in a secret place until needed;
  • Winter shovels and gear;
  • Books, cards, and games to help take your mind off things.

When it comes to important documents, this paperwork should be stored in a water- and fireproof container. The documents in that box should be vital records, medical documentation, financial and legal information, emergency contact numbers, and personal items. Examples are listed below:

  • Birth, marriage, and divorce certificates, including anything needed for adoption or child custody papers;
  • Passport;
  • Drivers’ licenses;
  • Social security cards;
  • Pet ownership papers and identification tags;
  • Housing agreements;
  • Vehicle documents;
  • Financial obligations, such as bills, loans, etc.;
  • Account information;
  • Living wills;
  • Sources of income;
  • Insurance policies;
  • List of medications, immunizations, allergies, and prescriptions for all family members and pets;
  • Medical power of attorney information;
  • Contact numbers for medical specialists, employers, churches, social service providers, insurance companies, repair services, and aid agencies, such as the Red Cross;
  • Irreplaceable family mementos, such as photos, keepsakes, artwork, and jewelry.

The items listed above are universal for any type of situation, from a major snowstorm, hurricane, tornado, etc. In addition, it is important to have a plan about what to do, where to go, etc. That way your family will know what to expect—for example, if you are stuck inside your house without power for a few days or flooding occurs. Of course, these are just suggestions and you can narrow down the supplies to what are mostly needed for the normal weather events in your area. For example, if you live on the coast, you probably don’t need the majority of supplies needed for a snowstorm but will need supplies for a hurricane.

For whatever weather event comes your way at any point in the year, it is important to be prepared with a severe weather kit. Make sure everyone in your family knows where it is located and the items inside. You’ll be thankful that you are ready when a storm hits.

xoxo,

Megan

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