Have a Family Plan
Severe weather accounts for thousands of deaths and injuries every year. Even though the National Weather Service has an excellent track record in tracking dangerous weather and giving warnings for severe weather such as tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding, many of the injuries and deaths could be avoided if families talked about and planned for what they would do in the event of a weather emergency. Here are some steps you can take to keep your family safe:
Identify Possible Weather Emergencies
- Does your family live on a flood plain?
- Do you live in an area where hurricanes and tornadoes threaten?
- Knowing the weather events that can cause you harm can help you plan.
Make a Plan
- Choose an out-of-state friend as your "family check-in contact" for everyone to call if the family gets separated.
- Discuss the information you have gathered.
- Discuss what you would do if advised to evacuate.
- Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency, such as fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
Implement Your Plan
- Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home.
- Install safety features in your house, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
- Inspect your home for potential hazards (such as items that can move, fall, break, or catch fire) and correct them.
- Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones.
- Teach children how and when to call 911.
Practice Your Plan
- Ask questions to make sure your family remembers meeting places, phone numbers, and safety rules.
- Conduct drills.
- Replace stored water and food every six months.
- Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
- Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer's instructions.
Build a Disaster Supply Kit
- A 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil.
- A first-aid kit, including prescription medicines.
- An extra set of car keys and a credit card or cash.
- Emergency tools, including a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and a portable radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person.
- One change of clothing and footwear per person.
- Special items for infants, older adults, or family members with disabilities.