Throughout the United States, we’ve been seeing some harsh weather lately. For one, there’s been a major heat-wave baking the country for weeks. Sun safety
is important, but today let’s discuss the other natural disruptions we’re seeing: hurricanes
, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. When it comes to storm safety during these troubled times, families need all the help they can get!
Storm Safety Tips
When it comes to storm safety, it pays to be prepared. For most of us, that requires some careful planning and forethought. The best storm safety tip we can give you? Be prepared. Each year, people are injured or killed by harsh weather. Even when there is plenty of advance warning, far too many of us simply don’t take the necessary precautions.
First and foremost, adults should secure the safety of their families during a severe storm. The best way to do this is to develop a family disaster plan. The best time to do this is well before
it is ever needed. A solid safety plan should be committed to memory to the point that it is second nature to every member of the home. That goes for young children as well as adults.
When it comes to both storm safety and pool safety, it pays to have responsible people who are trained in first aid and CPR certified
. These precautions often save lives.
For example, a properly planned evacuation route is critical. If a family needs to abandon their home, the situation will likely be hectic. So both parents and children should practice running this route during calm weather. Parents should also sign up ahead of time for emergency text alerts that can warn about road closures or potential detours. Before the bad weather rears it’s ugly head, you should have an evacuation spot planned. It is critical that you have a place to stay should you need to escape the treacherous weather. Hotels tend to become overbooked quickly during an emergency. In case you end up stranded and unable to get to your planned location, use FEMA’s app to find a nearby shelter
. This should also be saved on your phone in advance, just in case it is needed.
Try Not to Drive During a Storm
We’ve discussed driving safely in the rain or snow
in a past blog, but this storm safety tip is important enough that it bears repeating. If it is at all possible for you to avoid driving, then don’t drive. When it comes to storm safety, always try to remain inside, protected from the elements. If you absolutely have to drive, make sure to gas up your vehicle before the storm arrives. Additionally, make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full. Driving during a storm can be hazardous enough without adding further visibility issues. Just be aware that during particularly cold weather, the wiper fluid may quickly freeze to your window.
Next, families should discuss the “safe zone” within the home, where everyone should gather during a storm. This area should be somewhere safe from windows and glass. These can shatter and cause injury due to strong winds.
To this end, don’t rely on the basement during a storm. This area of the home often contains hazards such as gas pipes, which can be damaged and become unsafe. Ideally, the best storm safety shelter would be an actual storm shelter, located underground, but far from the house.
If you become separated from your loved ones, be sure to plan a central meeting place to meet. In troubled times, this can take a lot of guesswork out of an already terrifying situation.
While the storm is raging, be sure to stay as connected as possible. The best way to do this is to become familiar with your local area’s emergency warning systems. Additionally, always keep a battery-operated radio handy. The Internet is great, but it can’t be the only communication we rely upon. Service frequently dips during emergencies. An AM radio with access to emergency information can become an invaluable storm safety tool.
Finally, this last one should be second nature to anyone who has ever been caught alone in the dark, but lights are very
important. Keep multiple flashlights handy and equipped with fresh batteries. Each month, be sure to check the batteries. As many of us have discovered at the worst possible moments, batteries always tend to fail when you need them the most!
Additionally, keep some candles around. If the power drops, you’ll be thankful for any possible light sources. Just be sure to be mindful of potential fire hazards. During a severe storm, emergency services may not be as responsive as usual.
For further storm safety reading, take a look at the American Red Cross’ Safety Checklist