Feb. 25, 2019 – This week is Tennessee Severe Weather & Flood Awareness Week. With a week of historic flooding just behind us and tornado season about to start, it seems appropriate that Feb. 24-March 2 would receive that designation.
There are several steps every family should take to prepare for severe weather.
A SAFE PLACE
Where will you go if a tornado is imminent? Choose a room on the lowest floor of your house, preferably with no windows, and make sure every member of your family knows to go there. Prepare to take your pets there, as well.
Be sure to find out where a shelter is located in your school or place of business.
A weather radio or downloadable weather app for your phone can alert you when your area is under a watch or warning for severe weather.
Do you know the difference between a watch and a warning? A “watch” means that conditions are favorable, while a “warning” means the event is occurring.
A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted or strong rotation is indicated on radar.
A severe thunderstorm warning means a storm has developed capable of producing hail greater than 1 inch in diameter or winds of 58 m.p.h.
Each member of the family should have an age-appropriate emergency kit. Some items to pack might include:
- Bottled water
- Lightweight jacket, poncho, or blanket
- Pocket knife
- First-aid kit
- Pain reliever, like Tylenol or Ibuprofen
- Extra socks
- Granola bar/protein bar
- Diapers (for infants) or leash and dog treats (for pets)
- A battery-operated or hand-crank radio
*Put all of the above in zip-lock bags to protect from water damage.
Have a family emergency plan. Make sure sure your family knows where their safe places are and what they should do in various situations. Have a prearranged meeting spot for before and after the storm. Know how you will contact each other.
Have a plan and review it on a regular basis.