Tornado Safety Part Three: Emergency Supplies

Are your emergency supplies ready in case of a tornado?

So you made it to your storm shelter before the tornado, and you and your family are safe? Congratulations! Hopefully prior to the storm, you did a great job of gathering supplies, so that you can stay safe until relief workers and government officials can get provisions and services restored to storm-affected areas.

In the event of a catastrophic storm, some areas may not have clean water, electricity, or access to roads for days or weeks, so it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit ready. You may have to fend for yourself for awhile.

Have an Emergency Plan

First off, have a plan to meet or get in touch with other family members if a tornado or dangerous weather event strikes when you’re not together. That plan should include multiple points of contact, including going through an out of town relative, since sometimes in disaster areas, it’s easier to get a call through to a person hundreds of miles away than to someone across town.

You need plenty of stockpiled supplies, in case utilities and services are knocked out by the storm.

Before a tornado strikes, everyone in your family should know where they will go, whether they’re at home, school, work, daycare, church, etc.

If you work outside, know where the low-lying ground is in your immediate vicinity. You’re safer there than you are under an overpass or inside a rickety shed.

If you live in a mobile home, plan a place to go ahead of time. It’s not safe to stay in a house trailer during a tornado.

Have an Emergency Kit

In your home shelter—which may be an interior room or large closet with no windows, a specially installed storm shelter or safe room, or a basement—you should have blankets and pillows to cushion your body and head from flying debris.

You also need plenty of stockpiled supplies, in case utilities and services are knocked out by the storm.

Your supplies should include:

  • Three gallons of water per person, for drinking and sanitation for up to three days
  • Enough non-perishable food (and a can opener, if you’re using canned goods) to feed your family for at least three days.
  • Flashlights and extra-batteries
  • An extra cell phone charger and/or a solar charger
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Cash, a credit card, insurance cards, identification
  • A list of emergency contacts
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra prescription medicines and eyeglasses
  • Infant formula and diapers (if there is a baby in your family)
  • Pet food (if you have pets)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Zip-lock and garbage bags for sanitary purposes
  • Baby wipes
  • Dust masks
  • Emergency whistle or air-horn to signal for help
  • Bleach or iodine and medicine dropper to sanitize drinking water. (Don’t use more than 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water).
  • A change of clothes for everyone in the family
  • Books, cards, board games

We hope you never go through a traumatic weather event or have to spend days in a storm shelter waiting for help, but preparation is essential to staying as safe and comfortable as possible during and following a catastrophic event.

And if you want to take the important step of making sure your home is properly insured—which is another key part of pre-storm preparation—get in touch with a Farm Bureau agent today.