Spring Severe Weather Preparedness: Step 1; Choose Your Family’s Safe Place

Posted Sunday, March 21, 2021

Family severe weather preparedness starts with a plan. Look, this doesn’t need to be a big deal. Simply get all your family members together, sit down, and work this step out together. Everyone in your household needs to know exactly what to do and where to go. It’s not rocket science.

Decide on your family’s safe place. This can be the basement or lowest level of your home; or an interior closet or bathroom on a ground-level floor if you don’t have a basement. Just make sure the room you choose does not have windows. Put as many walls as you can between you and the outside.

If you use your basement try to find a spot that’s not under the kitchen. The area under your kitchen usually has heavy appliances overhead. You certainly don’t want those crashing down on you if the floor fails. Otherwise, just about any clear space is good. Keep this area free of clutter.

The same goes for the interior room you’ve chosen. Keep this room as clear and clutter-free as possible. You might not have time to clear things out before you can enter the space.

Make sure every family member knows this is THE place to go in the event of a warning – Day or Night. Even small children need to know this is the family’s safe place to go during a severe storm.

Have these items in your safe space:

  • A bicycle or batting helmet for each member – including adults. First responders have stated over and over that most injuries and fatalities from severe storms and tornadoes occur due to head trauma. A simple inexpensive helmet can alleviate the risk of head injury.
  • An inexpensive air horn – To alert first responders in case you or someone is trapped or injured and needs help. It’s better to use an air horn than having to yell over what might be a noisy and chaotic scene after a damaging storm.
  • A good flashlight or battery-operated lantern. Keep fresh batteries for it as well.
  • A battery-operated radio; And a cell phone.
  • Hard sole shoes – You don’t want to be walking around on sharp debris if your home is damaged.

The odds of severe storms or a tornado hitting your home or neighborhood is low, but by no means zero. It only takes one storm – the one that hits your neighborhood – that becomes YOUR disaster.

Part of my personal mission with TuscWeather is to help my friends and neighbors become more aware of our local weather and the threats we face here in Tuscarawas County. I’ve lived long enough to witness first-hand the sadness, death, and destruction Mother Nature can do. I encourage you to take simple steps to become more aware and better prepared for what may be an active storm season.

You can help by sharing info with your friends, neighbors, and relatives. Be safe out there.



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