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Family Files

Be ready for severe weather

lightning storm

Spring is the time of year that we pay more attention to the weather. Whether we are watching the television, listening to the radio, checking our weather App, or getting alerts from the radio, severe weather can impact our lives. Planning as a family is an excellent way of not getting caught off guard.  

The National Weather Service  gives a few tips on preparing.

  • Be Weather-Ready: If you are at risk for severe weather, check the forecast regularly. Listen to local news and know the difference between watches and warnings.
  • Sign Up for Notifications: Be aware if your community has a warning system, for example, sirens.
  • Create a Communications Plan: Set safe locations in your house, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit: Ensure you have it in your home, work, and car. Your kits should include water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, extra batteries, a whistle, a dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties, a wrench, pliers, a manual can opener, cell phone with charges. For a complete list, go to Ready, an official website of U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 
  • Practice Your Plan: Ensure all house members know where to go when a warning is issued. Run your drills and have your pets involved as well.
  • Prepare Your Home: Keep your trees and branches trimmed near your house. Identify loose objects that you have outside and have the plan to secure them when severe weather hits. Don’t forget to close windows and doors.
  • Help Your Neighbor: Think about how you can help someone else. Go ahead and take CPR training.

Also, if you see a downed power line, it can be hazardous. If a power line falls on your house, remain inside and contact the electric company so they can cut the power to your home. Don’t run water or touch anything metal until the power is cut. If you see a downed power line, don’t touch it. Energy Bot recommends staying 100 feet or the length of two semi-trucks away to avoid a shock.

Take action ahead of the storm; don’t wait until it hits.

Author: Tessa Hobbs-Curley

About the Author: Tessa Hobbs-Curley is considerate about the people of west-central Illinois. She feels that her role as a family life educator serving Henderson, Knox, McDonough, and Warren counties is vital to the residents in her community. Tessa provides community-based training and education on life issues affecting families, adults, and individuals as they age.