Tornado season is officially underway. Although most people probably don’t think of March as the beginning of tornado season, the horrible devastation we saw in Alabama a couple of days ago proves otherwise. Here are some tips to help prepare you and your family in the event of a tornado in your area:
- Talk to children about tornadoes. Explain that a tornado is a natural weather event, and not anyone’s fault. Use simple words that young children can understand.
- Create a family emergency plan together for what to do when a tornado is coming. Make sure all family members know where to go (the “safe” room) and what to do (put on shoes and helmet). Choose a room that has the least number of windows and is the most center part of your home, while being on the lowest level.
- Practice as a family, getting to the safe room when a tornado siren sounds (expose children to this sound – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIypdzgZAaI)
- Put together a “safe” room kit. Include not only essentials, but also comfort items for your children. Some examples might include: batteries, flashlight, first-aid kit, portable cellphone charger, non-perishable food and water, prescription medications, shoes for each person to wear, helmets, cash, baby needs (diapers, wipes, food, toys, medication), pet needs, sanitary items, garbage bags, whistle, and ID documentation (insurance card, license), comfort items (stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, books).
- Communicate with your child’s school about their emergency plan and be aware of their policies and procedures.
Like many natural disasters, tornados do not provide a lot of warning and anticipation time; but if you follow the suggestions from above, you and your family will be ready and prepared.