Tornado season can be a scary time of year for those living in parts of the country where these natural disasters are common. Having a plan in place and being prepared can make all the difference in staying safe when a tornado hits. In this post, we'll discuss some essential emergency supplies that you should grab before tornado season hits, so you're ready for anything.
Water and Non-Perishable Food
When a tornado hits, you may be stuck inside your home or a shelter for an extended period. It's crucial to have enough water and non-perishable food to last you at least three days. Keep bottled water and canned or dry goods stored in a safe and easily accessible place, like a basement or storm cellar. Prioritize food that does not need cooking, as there may not be power available to use your stove or microwave.
Stocking up on healthy, non-perishable foods is a good way to ensure that you will have nutritious and filling meals during a tornado. Some great options include dried fruits and nuts, canned fish or lean proteins, whole grain crackers, nut butters, instant oatmeal packets, granola bars, boxed milk alternatives, nutrition bars, and canned soups or stews. All of these items can last for months without refrigeration and don’t require cooking.
Don't forget to include a manual can opener if you choose to stock up on canned goods! Good canned food options to keep on hand include canned tuna, salmon, beans, vegetables (such as corn, green beans, carrots), and soups. Canned fruits such as mandarin oranges or peaches are also great choices for snacks or sweet treats.
Be sure to check expiration dates before purchasing and try to rotate your stock so that you don't end up with expired food. With this variety of healthy foods, you will be sure to have enough sustenance in the event of an emergency.
A Well-Stocked First-Aid Kit
During a tornado, injuries can occur from flying debris or falling objects. A well-stocked first-aid kit can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. Make sure your kit includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any prescriptions you take regularly. Store the kit in a waterproof container in a location you can quickly grab it from if needed.
The amount of supplies you need for your family size depends on how long the potential emergency may last. If you’re preparing for a tornado, it is important to have enough water, medical supplies, and non-perishable food to last at least three days per person.
Start by counting each member in your family or household, then calculate the amount of food and water needed to last that many days. Make sure you include any pets in your count, as well. It’s also a good idea to have a bit extra on hand in case of unexpected guests or visitors. Consider as well the needs of infants, elderly family members, and anyone with special dietary requirements when stocking up on supplies.
When a tornado strikes, it can be difficult to access medical care or obtain necessary medications. Make sure you have enough of any prescription drugs you take regularly in your home. Keep at least two weeks' worth on-hand just in case. It's also a good idea to keep an updated list of all the medications you take and their dosages with you at all times. This will come in handy if you need medical care after the storm.
When storing medications during a tornado watch, it’s important to keep them in a cool and dry place. This can be a waterproof container or bag. Make sure the lid is securely sealed and check it regularly for any signs of moisture that could damage your medications. Do not store your medicines near food, as this can contaminate the drugs.
It's also a good idea to make sure your medications are not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Lastly, keep all drugs and supplements out of reach from children or pets who may accidentally ingest them.
A Flashlight and Plenty of Batteries
Tornadoes can strike at any time, day or night. It's essential to have a reliable flashlight in case you find yourself in the dark. Make sure to have extra batteries on hand as well. LED flashlights are a great choice because they're energy-efficient and last a long time.
It is important to store extra batteries in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If storing at home, keep them in an airtight container or plastic bag that can be sealed tight. This will help protect the batteries from moisture and maintain their charge for longer periods of time. Make sure to check the expiration date on your batteries before using them in case they have gone bad.
Keeping multiple sets of batteries on hand is a good idea so you don't find yourself unprepared during an emergency. If you are taking batteries with you to an evacuation site, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container or bag for extra protection.
A Lightning Rod for Your Home
In tornado-prone areas, it's important to protect your home from lightning strikes. Installing a lightning rod is an effective way to safeguard your house from potential electrical surges caused by a storm.
Lightning rods contain metal conductors that direct the electricity away from your home and into the ground, preventing damage to the structure and any electronics inside. It's important to ensure that the rod is properly installed and maintained for optimal protection. Talk to a professional for lightning rod installation, as this isn't a job you want to do yourself.
Blankets and Clothing
If you're forced to flee your home, or if your power goes out, you'll need warm blankets and clothing to keep you comfortable. Store extra blankets and warm clothing in a location that's easy to access. Remember to also grab sturdy shoes or boots in case you need to walk on debris-covered roads.
When it comes to staying warm during a tornado, having the proper clothing on-hand is essential. Look for weatherproof materials such as wool, polyester, and nylon that are designed to keep you dry and warm in cold temperatures. It's also important to have lightweight layers that can keep you comfortable no matter how hot or cold it is outside. Pack items such as sweaters, hoodies, hats, gloves, and scarves in case temperatures drop.
Avoid cotton clothing if possible since it absorbs moisture and can make you feel cold even when dry. Make sure to pack clothes that are easy to move around in just in case you have to walk or run away from the storm quickly. It's also a good idea to have an extra pair of shoes or boots. Lastly, don't forget to bring an extra change of clothes in case you get wet.
When storing blankets and clothing for a potential emergency, make sure to keep them in airtight containers or plastic bags. This will protect them from moisture and maintain their quality over time. It's also important to store these items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If your home has an attic or basement, those are great locations for storing blankets and clothing. Additionally, if you have room in your emergency kit or supplies bag, it's a good idea to include an extra change of warm clothes in case of an emergency. That way, you'll always be prepared in the event of a tornado.
Important Documents and Cash
In the aftermath of a tornado, it's not uncommon to lose valuable possessions, including important documents like passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies. Make copies of all these documents and store them in a waterproof, fireproof container. It's also a good idea to have some cash on hand in case ATMs and banks are closed.
It's important to keep cash and credit cards safe during a tornado or any other emergency situation. If you have cash on-hand, store it in an airtight container such as a waterproof bag or sealed envelope. Make sure the container is stored out of sight and from children or intruders.
Additionally, consider storing your credit cards separately from your cash and in a secure location such as a fireproof safe or locked box. This will prevent them from being stolen if your house is broken into. Finally, make sure to keep an updated list of all the credit cards you have and their account numbers in case they are lost or damaged. This will help you quickly notify banks and credit card companies in the event of an emergency.
Tornadoes are unpredictable, and it's always better to be safe than sorry. Preparing ahead of time by stocking up on these five essential emergency supplies can help you and your family stay safe and comfortable during tornado season. Remember to keep them stored in an accessible, easy-to-grab location and test your storage location periodically to make sure everything is still there and in working order. Stay safe, and we hope you find this list helpful in preparing for an emergency situation.