- Mallory Edens
Eight Ways to Prepare for Severe Storms
While storms are seasonal, you need to be prepared for extreme weather events year-round. Here are eight ways to reduce how much they disrupt you, your family, or home.
Know What to Expect. If you have just moved to a region, investigate local weather patterns and learn what severe weather your new region experiences. Sign up for local weather alerts to get the most recent and verified information for your area. Know where shelter can be found during severe storms and what routes will be used in case of evacuation. Look for signs in your local area that point toward evacuation routes or designated emergency shelters. Visit your local emergency management agency’s website or contact them to get the run-down on where to go and what to do in the case of a disaster.
Take Care of Repairs. If there’s any part of your home that needs repairing, it’s a good idea to take care of that now before it becomes further damaged by a severe storm. For example, if you have broken or damaged windows, loose siding, or problems with your gutters, you’ll want to have these addressed right away. Beyond repairs, look to your yard. Are there any dead or dying trees that pose a safety risk? If so, these should be removed as soon as possible. This can be a job for professionals, and you want to find reputable tree removal services. They can help you determine what really needs to be cut down, versus what should simply be pruned.
Make an Emergency Plan. One of the best things you can do to ensure the safety of yourself, and your family is to have an emergency plan in place. Know where to go in an emergency, and make sure your family does as well. Know where shelter is, and how to get to it. You should consider Having different plans for different days of the week, and times of day. For instance, your plan for 2 a.m. will not resemble your plan for the middle of a school day. Practice drills regularly to make sure your children know what they need to do and be ready for. Make certain your children know where to find the emergency supplies and that they can reach them without adult assistance. Review and update your plan as circumstances change.
Safeguard Your Home Business. Every business owner should also have an emergency plan in place. Create a simple set of procedures that everyone can follow in the event of a disaster. This includes having an inventory of all your equipment, identifying alternate places where you can set up shop if your location is damaged or closed, and ensuring any data or vital records will stay protected. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover damage to equipment used to run your business. By purchasing home-based business insurance, you can be sure you’re covered in case equipment is destroyed or you lose physical or electronic data. Also ensure that your vital information is stored digitally and on the cloud. That way, you don’t have to worry about losing paper documents. Plus, you can access them from anywhere. As you create this system, you may want to try a free online tool that allows you to delete unnecessary pages from PDFs. Once you have the file in the tool, you just select the pages you want to delete. That way, you can pare down bigger files and stay as organized as possible.
Use Social Media. Social media is an excellent tool to use for disaster preparedness. Not only can it alert you to oncoming storms or dangers, it can provide real time updates as events unfold. Know what hashtags are being used to find information and to share content with others. By attaching pictures to your posts, you can also provide valuable information to authorities and those in your immediate area. It is best to have multiple channels available for information to be accessed so also monitor radio and tv broadcasts.
Keep Supplies on Hand. FEMA and the CDC both provide good checklists to start building your kit. Start with the basics. This includes enough food for each member of the family including pets for at least three days. Access to water will be essential, both for drinking and cleaning. Filtration systems, such as purification tablets, can be an excellent way to have purified water, especially if you end up needing to leave your home. Lighting sources will be useful, such as a headlamp or crank-powered flashlight. Have masks ready to help protect lungs from debris and an emergency whistle is handy for helping to locate people when you cannot see. Ensure any medication your family will need is stored, alongside necessary toiletries and a first-aid kit. Having wooden boards on hand can be life-saving if you need to board up your windows to protect your loved ones from a storm. Purchase or check if any of your local government agencies or community organizations have free or low-cost pre-made emergency kit ones available
Stay Entertained. Keeping children calm during extreme events can be difficult, but engaging activities can keep nerves down. Find ways to distract your little ones from the ongoing event by telling stories to each other, singing songs, or listening to music. Art supplies can keep your children occupied, especially if you work with them. A scavenger hunt is a fun way to stay active and safe during a storm as well, so have little things you can hide packed in your emergency kit.
Be Prepared to Weather the Storm. With the right preparation, you, your family, and your home business have a better chance at staying safe and sound. Make sure that you have a plan for various scenarios and go over it regularly, especially during severe weather seasons. Then, gather supplies so you are as prepared as possible. You can’t prevent severe weather, but you can be prepared to manage it when it happens.
The Institute for Sustainable Development offers resources to help you prepare for and recover from a natural disaster. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 (833) 473-2020 to learn more ways to keep you, your family, and your business safe.
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