Before you do anything else to prepare for severe summer weather, click to download the American Red Cross Emergency App! Then follow these tips, some of which are supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. You can get more information by clicking on the link.
You can take steps in and around your home to make it safer if severe weather strikes. You may be doing some of these things already!
- If you own your home, you keep your property tidy: bushes trimmed, dead trees, tree limbs, and debris removed. Downspouts and gutters are clear. These measures add to curb appeal; they also help ensure the safety of everyone in your household.
- Whether you own your home or rent it, you know the fastest way to the basement of the building, a below-ground area, or an interior room. Does everyone else in the household also know this important information? Is the space ready to be used as a temporary shelter during a weather emergency?
- Do you have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio? A NOAA weather radio is ideal for keeping informed about impending severe weather.
- Is there a river, stream, or other body of water near your home? Keep informed about weather conditions that could lead to flooding.
You are an important source of safety information for everyone in your household. Make sure everyone has downloaded the Red Emergency App and knows what to do before and during severe weather, whether they’re at home or caught outside.
Make and practice an evacuation plan for all members of the household, including those with disabilities. You also need a plan for getting pets out, and you should know where boarding for them is available if it’s needed.
In addition to having an evacuation plan, you should also have a stocked emergency kit ready to go at a moment’s notice. The kit should include:
- water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply at home)
- food: nonperishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply at home)
- extra batteries
- first aid kit
- medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- multi-purpose tool
- sanitation and personal hygiene items
- copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- cell phone with chargers
- family and emergency contact information
- extra cash
- emergency blanket
- map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:
- medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
- baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- games and activities for children
- pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- two-way radios
- extra set of car keys and house keys
- manual can opener
Contact your Red Cross with any questions or for help following disasters such as tornadoes or fires: 1-800-REDCROSS or go to the Red Cross web site.