Storm season is officially here! Whether it’s tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or forest fires in one way or another extreme weather affects us all. Not unlike the famous scouts’ mantra (and great Lion King song) “Be Prepared” is a good rule of thumb. Having a practiced plan of action and a fully stocked Severe Weather Emergency Kit will be immensely useful when extreme weather strikes. Grab that cooler and backpack that’s been gathering dust in your basement. Because it’s time to create, rejuvenate, or take stock of your very own Severe Weather Emergency Kit.
Let’s face the facts: humans are made up of approx. 60% water. Not only that, the average human can only survive for a week without water. Making this a no brainier for the number 1 thing you will need for survival. According to https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit you should have 1 gallon of water per person for at least 3 days. To use for drinking and sanitation.
In case of loss of utilities or the inability to leave a location; having food is going to be detrimental to your survival. You should store a 3-day supply of non-perishable foods. Just remember you will need to be able to open and consume without heat or electricity. So, if you pack canned goods pack a can opener. Freeze dried rations are also a great option. Due to their large shelf life and compact packaging.
- First Aid Kit
Pretty self-explanatory, your first aid kit will have bandages, wound cleaning supplies, aspirin, etc. These items will be necessary in case of injury. Keep your first aid kit stocked and all medicines, cleansers, and ointments up to date. Expired supplies lose their potency and sterility. A pack of sterile gloves is always a good thing to include in your first aid kit.
For emergency updates and general information, you should store a hand crank or battery-operated radio. For all you weather buffs out there you may have NOAA weather radio with a tone alert. This radio was made for your Sever Weather Emergency Kit. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries! And storing all electrical items in waterproof bags is never a bad idea. You should also test all electrical equipment regularly to assure functionality in the case of an emergency.
Having a flashlight when you have lost power is a must have! Again, store your flashlight in a water proof bag. Don’t forget EXTRA BATTERIES. And most importantly test your flashlight regularly. In the case of any severe weather situations you will be guaranteed equipment that works and could possibly save your life!
This may sound a little weird, but this is a highly useful tool. If you were to get trapped somewhere or needed to be rescued a whistle could help first responders locate you. It could be a slide whistle, a coach’s whistle, just not a dog whistle! Something small that you can easily get to make loud noise without electricity is what you need. Don’t forget it’s what saved Rose on The Titanic!
- Multi-Purpose Tool
It’s easy to remember the things we need to survive. What we need to use them is usually what we forget. Having a multi-purpose tool will provide you with what you need to use what you have. Such as scissors, a knife, a screwdriver, a magnifying glass, even a can opener! Again, you never know what could be useful in the case of an emergency. So, it’s better to be prepared!
- Cell Phone with chargers/spare batteries
Having a way to communicate or call for help can be the difference between life or death. Especially when severe weather strikes. A spare cell phone with a completely charged battery, as well as backups is a very important part of your Severe Weather Emergency Kit. You can find these phones in the Red Cross store: https://www.redcross.org/store These items should also be stored in water proof bags.
Blankets especially heavy or made of wool can come in handy. Obviously for warmth and protection from the elements. But a wool blanket can be used to smother a fire. A large blanket can be used to create a shelter. A blanket can be torn and used for bandages or as a tool to hold things in place. Extra blankets are a great and versatile item to have in your emergency kit.
- Personal Sanitation Items
This one thing you may over look when packing your Severe Weather Emergency Kit. But in case you are stuck in one place for a while, having these items will make your life a whole lot easier. Pack toilet paper, feminine products, a few plastic bags, twist ties, and moist towelettes. Cleaning up properly helps cut down on the spread of germs and infection.
The most important thing to remember in the case of a Sever Weather Emergency is to seek safe shelter and to stay calm. Don’t forget that having a thought out and PRACTICED Severe Weather Emergency plan in place with your loved ones will save lives. Severe weather can strike anywhere and without a moments’ notice. But if you have a plan of action, as well as all the items listed here in your own Severe Weather Emergency Kit, you will be prepared. Have a fun, yet safe storm season everybody!
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