Preparing for tornado season

How to Prepare for tornado season?

It’s once again that time of year when the tornado activity is most prevalent. Here’s a reminder and to have your basic preps in order. We’ve come up with a basic preparedness checklist below.

Tornados are the most common disaster in our area. We fall under tornado warnings most often between March and May but have had tornado conditions well into December. Even though we’ve never been directly in the path of one, we’ve been hit with damaging winds and hail as well as long term power outages. The odds of being in the direct path of a tornado are low compared to the odds of being impacted by the associated storms.

Our basic preps are located in the western corner of our basement and under the staircase. These two areas are  likely to be undisturbed should a tornado hit our neighborhood. Having the basic supplies protected like this will increase the odds of us having access to them when the storm is over.

Have some sort of shelter in your home BEFORE you need it. Our home has 2 spaces that could be used as shelter against a tornado. Both are underground and surrounded by concrete with large beams overhead. These shelters would probably save a life but it’s likely that there would be injuries from flying debris.

The dangers are not over when the storms pass. Live electric lines are a seriously deadly possibility and account for many, if not most, of the deaths associated with storms. Gas leaks are another concern so be sure to learn how to shut your home’s gas supply down.

Tornado Preparedness Checklist:

  1. Decide on your designated storm shelter.
  2. Have banking and insurance documents backed up and stored somewhere safe.
  3. S.A.M.E. radio and/or a scanner radio capable of receiving your county’s Emergency Management freqs.
  4. Multiple first aid kits.
  5. Work gloves and eye protection.
  6. The tools needed to shut down your home’s utilities.
  7. Several tarps and rope.
  8. Pet cage or Dog Tie-out cable.
  9. Photos of your pets.
  10. Hammer, prybar, saw, nails.
  11. Camping gear.
  12. Ready to eat foods.

Additionally you may want to anchor any strong boxes or gun safes to your basement wall and floor. If standing water could be a problem, elevate them off the floor. If you don’t have a basement, you could anchor them SOLIDLY to the floor joists and wall studs inside of a closet.

Help won’t be far away after a storm so a homeowner’s main priority is staying informed and prepared BEFORE the storm. The Red Cross has pre-arranged shelters for tornado and storm victims. I would prefer that my family stay with someone we knew and I would most likely just make camp on our property if our home was inhabitable. Looting is common after a storm. Authorities will sometimes evacuate severely affected areas and invoke a form of martial law so we always try to keep our essentials ready to go.