SEVERE WEATHER: Being Prepared

Spring is here and with the new season comes severe weather but are you and your family ready?

It turns out there is a lot to consider.

Friday is the final day of Iowa’s Severe Weather Awareness Week and the day’s focus is on making a plan to keep your family safe.

There are five key elements to every disaster plan:

  • The first is to become familiar with dangers in your area. Common disasters in Iowa include flooding, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
  • Next, you will want to choose meeting places where your family will gather in the case of an emergency. One of these locations should be close to your home and one outside your neighborhood in the case that you are unable to return to your home.
  • You will also need to have a crisis communications plan to stay in contact with family members if you are separated during a disaster.
  • It’s also important to keep emergency preparedness kits in your home, office and car.
  • Finally, the most important thing is to practice your plan and stick to your plan.

It’s a good idea to review your plan twice a year with your children and more frequently if they are younger.

A family disaster plan like this should prepare you for anything from flooding to fires.

It is also advised you have an emergency supply kit ready containing the following:

  • Water and non-perishable food for each person for 3-5 days
  • First aid kit
  • Money
  • Battery-operated flashlight and radio, and extra batteries for each
  • Extra clothing and bedding (including shoes)
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Specialty items such as prescription medications, baby formula, diapers and pet supplies
  • Plates, cups, utensils and a can opener
  • Copies of important documents such as driver’s licenses, birth certificates, insurance policies and financial information