Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Severe Weather Preparation

 Some things just seem to hit you harder when you are a mom. Watching the coverage of the destruction in Moore, Oklahoma is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. Why an elementary school?

The F Family Tornado plan is to go to our hallway powder room with our Emergency Box and a mattress. Helmets hadn't crossed my mind until today so I will be adding them to the list. Does your family have a plan? With summertime around the corner you could make this a week long activity. Cover a natural disaster a day with a little lesson about each type of weather event and where you would go. You could also make shopping for the items at the store a scavenger hunt of sorts.

Here are some tips on how you can help and how you can prepare your family as much as possible. 
From Ready.gov:

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property before severe weather:
  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car in case you are told to evacuate. This kit should also include a pair of goggles and disposable breathing masks for each member of the family.
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Continually monitor the media – Be aware of storm's which could impact your area.
  • Know how you will be warned in an emergency (NOAA Weather radios with a tone alert are a good option).
  • Know if you live or work in a flood prone area. Check with your local emergency management for details.
  • Know where to shelter (ie: basement, interior room/hall, bathroom, closet, etc) if conditions warrant and where shelters in your area are located.
  • Ensure your home is ready – Elevate items in the basement which could be flooded. Bring in outdoors items such as children's toys, patio furniture, garbage cans, etc which could be blown around and damaged. Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage.
  • Know how to shut off utilities, including power, water and gas, to your home. Have proper tools (i.e.: wrench) ready and nearby.
  • Find out what types of events and kinds of damages are covered by your insurance policy. Keep insurance policies, important documents and other valuables in a safe and secure location.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
You can find tons of lists through Pinterest such as these.
$49.99 Northern Tool & Equipment

This is a great article from Parents.com on what to put in your Emergency Kit.

Here are ways that you can help the families in Oklahoma:

The Red Cross
The Red Cross of Oklahoma has activated its safe and well website for those who are trying to reconnect with loved ones. Red Cross officials and volunteers are also beginning to open shelters. The first is at St. Andrews Church. You can help their efforts by donating to the Red Cross online or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
The Salvation Army has also jumped into action. It's in multiple locations throughout cities in Oklahoma providing food, hydration and emotional support to first responders and storm survivors. You can contribute to the Salvation Army by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769), online on their website, by texting "STORM" to 80888 to make an automatic $10 donation or by mail:
The Salvation Army PO Box 12600 Oklahoma City, OK 73157
If you would like to help the victims, please make your contributions to the Episcopal Relief and Development US Disaster Support, which provides critical necessities such as food, water, medicine and shelter. Your generous gift immediately provides aid when it is needed most.
Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of comfort: deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn; that, casting all their cares on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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