Be prepared for the unexpected during a tornado

By Tanya Davis | Published Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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It’s tornado season, and it’s a good idea to be prepared in case disaster strikes.

To get started, create a home tornado plan.

Pick a place in your home as a shelter, and practice having family members go there during drill sessions. A storm cellar, center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest level of your home is best. Take your pets and your emergency kit with you.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following items and should be assembled and customized according to individual needs

  • Water – 1 gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert, extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air, plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Develop an emergency family communication plan. Select an out-of-town friend or relative for everyone to check in with if family members are separated during a disaster. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of this contact person.

It’s also a good idea to visit with neighbors to determine how you can work together during an emergency. Also be aware of tornado warning sirens in your community and if you can hear them from your home and workplace.

For information about preparing for a tornado, call Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Wise County, 940-627-3341.

Tanya Davis is a Wise County Extension agent.

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