Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Being Prepared For Stormy Weather

Spring in Oklahoma can bring about a whirlwind of different weather situations. We get anything from snow to tornados. Sometimes all in the same day. Okies are our own breed. Most of us love a good weather event as long as no one get hurt. Which is like running with a stick eventually someone will get hurt. I still remember when the F5 hit in 99. That day they were telling everyone in the path to get underground. My dh and I took then toddler Lizard and Brother bear to the mall shelter because we had no underground shelters. My Dad was supposed to be taking my younger sisters to a t-ball camp and said he would keep an eye out when I called him earlier about the storms that were headed his way. Then the tornado hit right in his area. I was distraught because lines were down,places were leveled and the roads were closed. I couldn't get through but my dh new he was around the back street so well that he got me to my dad's house which was still standing and just out of the area hit. He relayed that he stuck my little sisters under the stairs and then stepped out back to see the storm and tornado. We had friends who sat on their roof and watched the whole event. So you see many of us are the ones who grab their camera and step out to see what there is to be seen. Though even in the thrill of it all there are still precautions to be taken. Precautions that my family take but having things in place well before spring.  We have a small stash of food and water and light sources just in case. We also have a few medical supplies set aside just in case as well. The thing I want to cover is a bug out bag. You see we still live in a home with no underground shelter and if it comes about that we need to leave to a safer place then we have to be ready for that. We have back packs to take with us. You may think this is a little over board but it can take awhile for the storms to pass and there is no way to know if it will be our home that is hit or not. A tornado can hit your home and leave you neighbors home standing with barely any damage. So being ready for a long haul is actually a smart plan.This is what we have in our bags and what I suggest you to use to build up your go bag.

Start a with a good small back back for an adult bag.

Then pack
medical supplies ( i.e. tylenol, bandaids and any regularly taken meds)

Then for a kids bag . Start with a good small kids backpack

Then pack
coloring supplies

We pack two packs one for us with items  we will need in case things do go down hill and a kids pack. The adult bag is full of things to help and items that should not be carried by the kids.Flashlights in case the power goes out, snacks in case we get hungry or the kids get antsy, radios so we can keep up on the weather because most public shelters don't have a public radio with the weather and when you are standing in a long dim cement hall way with a bunch of strangers well you tend to want to know how long it may go on and what is going on out in the world. The kid bag is full of things to entertain them while they wait out the whole ordeal. Of course we pack things more to keep the younger ones entertained because the older ones are usually either listening to the radio with us or helping with the little ones, but you should pack with your family in mind. Just keep it simple because you will have to put back what ever they pull out.
 Another way to prepare is to teach your kids what to do during severe weather. My kids know to grab their bags , helmets and shoes and put them in the hall way. If things get close they grab blankets, pillows and mattresses to help build a shelter in our hall way in the middle of our house. The older ones grab a few candles to light so we don't use up our flashlights before the power goes out but there is still light so that coyote doesn't freak. You can also de-emphasize the fear of the storm by keeping your tone normal and unstressed. Your kids can tell if you are freaking out and that will lead to them being fearful as well. Plus you don't want your kid crying every time it storms, especially if you live some place like Oklahoma where storms  are just apart of life. So preparing yourself mentally to handle it all calmly will help you and your family.
What else would you do or add?
Thank you for reading.