This excerpt is from a post I made the morning of the April 14, 2012 tornado outbreak. The things I list are actions I highly recommend you take in advance of this week’s storm system.
These are the things I’m doing to prepare for the storms. They are different than yours may be, as I will be out in the storms and may be called to help in any response to a storm-impacted community I’m close to. I’ve highlighted the things I think are important for anyone to do before Sunday.
- In my van, I have an emergency kit that includes several road flares, a first aid kit, a box of nitrile gloves (a lighter version of what EMS workers use) and heavier gloves for each person that will be with me. I have also put a crowbar in the van in case of the need to break something to rescue a person, and I have a million-candlepower spotlight to help with night activities.
- I have gathered all my vital documents (home insurance paperwork, ID for all family members, passports, immunization records for the kids, and other things needed to establish who I am and what I own if the worst happens. I take this set of folders with me on a day like today. You should have it within arms reach to take with you to shelter.
- After finishing this post, I will do a walk-around of my home with a video camera, to record the contents of the house and garage. It’s the quickest way I know to have an up-to-date inventory of what’s in the house in case of an insurance claim.
- Our family will be in four locations tonight…one of us is quite a distance away from here. That person (Roxan) is the designated contact point for the others in the family if something happens. We, and our extended family members, will call her to check on us. She knows the exact locations of each of the rest of us throughout the day today. Please, take time now to set up a contact point outside the area that everyone in your family can call to verify you’re okay. Remember, in a major disaster, the phone service is likely to be lost. If you can get a message out, that’s a single call or text. Your extended family can contact your point person, rather than trying to call into the disaster area and get hold of you.
- Cash and gasoline are good things to have stocked up.
- Remember to prepare a disaster kit if you haven’t. See instructions at ready.gov
The new Red Cross Tornado app, which I discuss here, includes an easy way to notify your designated person that you’re okay.
Please check out all our safety posts for more preparation information, and in case the worst happens, you may want to prepare yourself mentally by re-reading my post concerning the lessons I learned in CERT class. You may be surprised at the initial priorities of rescuers.