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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

Tornado Season Preparedness for the Family

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

The whistle goes off and your phone is blowing up with weather notifications. It's coming! A tornado! Get to the lowest spot in your home with no windows! Okay, but what about children and large families? What other supplies do I need? What other ways can you prepare for tornadoes? Let's answer these questions to get ready for bugging in during tornado season.

1. Bug IN kit - These kits should include power outage supplies like flashlights, candles and easy to prepare snacks. Don't forget items for your pets. Check out the link below for a more comprehensive list of emergency supplies.

2. Activities- If the storm leaves the power out, you might not be able to entertain yourself with TV and internet. Be sure to stock age-appropriate books, crayons, coloring books, small toys, and games etc. Keep a few small actives in your storm shelter so you can keep everyone entertained. Tornados don't always last very long (20 minutes or more) but sometimes the threat of severe weather can last several hours or all night. You will want to keep your family entertained in the same location so that you're not chasing everyone down once the whistle goes off.

What indoor actives does your family enjoy doing together?

3. Educate small children and your family! Do your kids know where to go if the tornado whistle goes off? Do they know the difference between warnings and watches? Do they know that when the weather radio sounds off to be quiet and listen for further instruction? The first Wednesday of the month at NOON is when our city does a tornado whistle. When it goes off, I always use the drill as a teachable moment to educate our children about tornado awareness and what to look for.

4. Have a sleep over! If weather is going to be severe all night long, consider a sleep over in the basement. NO one wants to wake the kids at 2 a.m. to get down to the basement. The kids will think it's fun and it might just be the change of pace everyone needs. You might also live with an elderly parent and you want to ensure them to safety. It's easier to get to a shelter before the whistle goes off. Get a good movie going, enjoy snacks and plenty of time cuddling on the couch or hide-a-beds.

How do you prepare for severe weather? What other tips and tricks do you use to put your family at ease during tornado season?

Additional Tips and Considerations

Charge up your phones and have a back up battery pack in case the power goes out.

Buy a weather radio 📻 We've always had the radio go off before our phones did. At night especially, you need to be alerted as soon as possible.

Tarps and duct tape is handy to have a round in case a window is broken during the storm. What if a tree falls on your roof? You need a plan for staying dry after the storm damage.

If you know severe weather is expected the day before, try to do some extra laundry and clean up incase you're without power after a storm. No electricity is harder when you have dirty underwear.

Check your insurance coverage for any gaps in coverage.

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