Hints & HELP!
submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appears in the March 27,
2005 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
you prepared? Does your family know what to do and where
to go in case of an emergency or severe weather? March
28 - April 1 is National Severe Weather Awareness Week.
Think back one year ago and how fast the severe weather
and tornado hit Lancaster County. We know many times there
is little warning of these types of storms. Families can
be prepared to cope with these disasters by preparing in
Federal Emergency Management Agency and Red Cross suggest
Make a plan
Assemble a kit
Maintain your plan and kit
informed by knowing the type of disasters common in
your area. In Nebraska we know tornados and flooding are
hazards. Know the community warning signals and where you
can get the information on watches and warnings.
TORNADO WATCH .... weather conditions are right for the
formation of tornadoes.
TORNADO WARNING ... a tornado has been sighted or indicated
by weather radar.
watches and warnings are issued as soon as conditions are
a plan by meeting with your family members. Review information
about disasters and how to prepare for them. Choose an “out-of-town”
contact or relative to notify in-case of disaster. Choose
a place for your family to meet, if separated. Have a place
near your home in case of fire and one outside your neighborhood
if you can’t return home. Have escape routes from your home
and safe places in your home to go for all types of disasters
(i.e. if a tornado approaches, go to the basement or the
lowest floor of your home or an interior room or closet
with no window). Draw out your escape plan and practice
it. Also have a plan for your pets and those with disabilities
or other special needs.
a disaster supply kit. This is a collection of basic
items a family may need to stay safe and more comfortable
during a disaster. The kit should be in a portable container(s)
and as close as possible to the exit door. Review the contents
at least once a year.
Items a kit can contain are:
Three-day supply of non-perishable food and manual can
Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person,
Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra
Flashlight and extra batteries.
Sanitation and hygiene items (hand sanitizer, moist towelettes,
and toilet paper).
Matches in a waterproof container.
Extra clothing and blankets and/or sleeping bags.
Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils.
Photocopies of identification and credit cards.
Cash and coins.
Special needs items such as prescription medication, eye
glasses, contact lens solution and hearing aid batteries.
Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles,
Tools, pet supplies, a map of the local area and other
items to meet your unique family needs.
your plan. Review your plan every six months. Check your
kit supplies. Replace stored water and food every six months.
ways to be prepared include:
Know how to and when to turn off water, gas and electricity
at the main switches or valves.
Check fire extinguishers.
Check smoke alarms and if you don’t have them – install
one on each level of your home.
Check to see if you have adequate homeowners insurance
coverage and what it covers. Many policies do not cover
flood damage and may not have full coverage for other
hazards. Check with your insurance agent and make sure
you have adequate coverage.
Inventory your home possessions – include photographs
of the interior and exterior of your home as well as
cars, boats, etc. Vital family record and other important
documents such as birth and marriage certificates, social
security cards, passports, wills, deeds and financial,
insurance and immunization records should also be kept
in a safe deposit box or secure location so they survive
Take time this week to be prepared. Many places will also
have practice drills this week.
Severe Weather Resources
to Household Hints & HELP