Wendy Light, CIC
Are you, your family, or business prepared for a Major Storm? The fact is most of us are not. Damaging and severe storms can happen at any time and during any season. Being prepared and knowing how to respond is critically important. Ask yourself, what would you do if you had a power outage, a loss of basic services such as water? We offer the following basis risk management tips for major storm preparedness planning.
Pay attention to the local weather forecast and heed the posted watches and warnings issued for local and surrounding areas.
Remember, storms sometimes change direction without notice. If you are outdoors, never touch or move downed power lines, and don’t drive through flooded road ways; water levels can be deeper than they appear, and quickly rise. Find shelter in a sturdy building, basement, or lie down in a ditch, if there is a tornado.
Storm Survival Planning Tips:
• Find out how your community’s warning system sounds an alert.
• Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery backup. Listen for watches and warnings.
Watch your local television broadcast for updates and direction.
• Implement an Emergency Preparedness Plan that takes prevention, emergency response, and disaster recovery into consideration. Annually practice this plan. Many examples are found with a simple ‘Google’ search.
• Secure large exterior / interior objects that could cause major damage, if torn free.
• Close and secure all doors and windows during approaching storms.
• Operate portable generators outside
• Keep your car’s fuel tank full
• Know how to manually operate your overhead garage door.
• Unplug sensitive electronic equipment, and turn off major appliances or unplug them.
• Don’t open the refrigerator. Groceries can last 12 -24 hours during power outages without spoilage.
• If you know the storm is approaching, set the settings to the lowest setting and then readjust after the all clear has been called by
• Avoid using candles and open flames.
• Consider a back-up plan for those that rely on electric equipment for a life-threatening medical condition, during power outages.
• Check with your local pet store to determine what is best for small pets such as birds, fish, reptiles, and dogs during major storms.
• Keep trees trimmed back from your home or business by a professional service on annual basis.
• Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning you cannot count to 30 seconds before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
• It is never safe to operate a generator, gas grill or barbecue inside due to carbon monoxide build up.
Obtain a storm survival kit; which contains the following:
• Flashlights with batteries (one for every family member); Extra batteries
• Containers of water or bottled water
• Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
• Non-electric can opener
• Sterno for fuel
• List of important phone numbers (including your Insurance Agent)
• First-aid kit
• Fire extinguisher
• Pet supplies
• Blankets or sleeping bags