Tornado Preparedness: Prepare Your Family

Hurricane Danielle. . . Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Prepared

Tornadoes can strike at any time, and although we usually have the luxury of a couple of days notice before a hurricane storm arrives, these hurricanes still don’t wait until it’s convenient for everybody concerned. A tornado may strike when your family is separated, so it’s important that you have an emergency plan in place so that all members of your family can stay in contact and get back together as soon as possible. You really need to have a plan for all eventualities for when the next hurricane arrives.

Family Tornado Emergency Plan

  • Family Tornado Contact Number – you and your family need to identify a contact who is ideally out of town. Think about it, it could very well be easier to make an out of state or long distance telephone call than to call someone across town who is very possibly going through the same tornado difficulties as you are. A separate out of town contact means that any members of your family who have become separated can keep in contact with everyone else through the “go-between”.  Make sure that all members of your family know who the contact is . . . and of course, the telephone number.
  • Cell Phone / Pre-paid Telephone Card – of course, it’s no use knowing the telephone number of the out of town hurricane contact if not every member of the family has either a cell phone, a pre-paid telephone card or the right coins to make an emergency telephone call.  It’s always a good idea to program a few telephone numbers into your cell phone under “ICE” – In Case of Emergency. If you are involved in an accident, then the emergency services will search through your ICE numbers to get hold of somebody you know. Don’t forget to tell your family or friends who are listed as ICE.
  • Text Messages / SMS – will often get through a network when a telephone call can’t. Make sure that all members of your family know all about texting . . . well, realistically speaking, ask your 8 year old for a few lessons in talking text.
  • Tornado Meeting Place – you and your family need to identify a safe place where you will be able to meet up if you are separated during an emergency tornado situation. I’ve already said that the tornado is unlikely to wait until you are all conveniently together before wreaking havoc on your neighborhood. Make sure that you have a plan . . . that you all know the plan . . . and that you can all keep to the plan.
  • Alert Services – are there to keep you fully informed, so use them. There are different alert services springing up in communities around the country, sign up and keep informed about all of the latest tornado report information about stuff like road closures, bad weather, local emergencies etc.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go . . . .

Tornadoes throw up all sorts of problems, one of being the old “should I stay or should I go” routine.  You really need to have a family tornado plan for both eventualities. Use your common sense and any available information (from the alert services!), watch the TV, listen to the radio, check the internet and make sure that you stay well informed. Bear in mind that if you are going to have to leave your home during a tornado emergency . . . the sooner the better for all concerned. If you leave it too late then you may have to rely upon the emergency services to evacuate you and may be unable to save any valuables / pets etc.

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