Tornado Alert and Preparation
With three tornadoes in the St. Louis area yesterday and one tornado just 600 meters from my house, here are some lessons learned.
- Have a Weather Alert radio. You may not hear the outside sirens. Our friend Karen had no idea that bad weather was in the area. Make sure you have one with a backup battery in case your electricity goes out.
- Turn on your TV to see how close the bad weather is and get ready to go to the basement.
- Gather everything you may need ahead of time when you go to the basement – wallet/purse, checkbook, keys, flashlight and extra batteries, charged cell phones, appropriate clothes to wear, laptop and power cord(not strictly needed, but in case of the worst it would be nice to have.)
- Go the basement early. Don’t wait until the last moment. Some people couldn’t open the basement door when the tornado struck. Being macho and watching the storm is STUPID.
- I also like having a TV in the basement to monitor the storm. You’ll know when the storm has passed.
- Just because it looks like the worst part of the storm is away from you – don’t count on it. It appeared to me that our area was not going to get hit very hard after watching TV, but boy was I wrong.
- Here is a more complete list below from government sources.
– Eye glasses
– Battery powered radio/tv
– Can opener for food.
– Cash – extra
– Cell phone and electric charger + car charger
– Change of clothes + jacket and hat
– Chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – – – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
– Duct tape
– Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and
– Emergency reference material such as a first aid book
– Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
– Fire Extinguisher
– First aid kit
– Flashlights and extra batteries
– Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
– Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation – 5 gal bucket
– Generator with new gas and oil
– Gloves – heavy
– Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
– Infant formula and diapers
– Laptop – charger and mouse
– Matches in a waterproof container
– Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
– Paper and pencil
– Pet food and extra water for your pet
– Picture log of entire house belongings
– Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
– Pocket knife – leatherman
– Prescription medications and
– Rain gear
– Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
– Wallet – Keys – camera – Checkbooks
– Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days,
– Whistle to signal for help
– Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities