Tornado season is upon us, and it is in full force. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know how to prepare for tornadoes or severe weather, do you? Prepare Your Family Don’t just discuss your tornado preparation plan – practice it. Create a list of emergency contacts, insurance information, and personal contact information. Ensure every member of your household knows where to go (the lowest level of your home, preferably to an area without windows or glass), what to bring, and how to stay safe if a tornado strikes. Just in case, safely secure all important documents. Make copies of birth certificates, insurance information, and social security cards – you never know when an evacuation may occur. Establish effective means of communication. Make sure all friends, co-workers, and family members know how to contact each other – Use a contact list, and determine who will be in charge of distributing these lists if a disaster strikes. Be aware of the closest evacuation center in your area – Typically, schools, community centers, and city buildings are used. Prepare Your Home In order to prevent water damage to your home, costly basement flooding, and other types of severe weather damage that may occur during tornado season, you’ll want to create an emergency preparedness kit that contains enough supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Your emergency kit should include: Water Food Radio Walkie-Talkies Batteries Flashlights First-Aid Supplies Clothing Toiletries Blankets Back-up Cell Phone Charger(s) Safe Spaces for Shelter It is important to designate a “safe room” in your basement, garage, or any anchored, window-free interior area of your home. If using a below-ground safe room, remember that water typically accompanies a storm. Make sure your sump pump is in working order, windows are caulked, and walls are free of cracks to prevent flooding. Safely arrange & Secure Household Items away from windows, mirrors, or glass. Note: Items that may move during a storm should be stored away from your family. Eye bolts or I-brackets may be used to secure large furniture to walls.