WeatherSevere Weather


How you can be prepared as we head into severe weather season

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 18:21:19-04

Severe weather season is just around the corner. Spring means a chance for thunderstorms, tornadoes and more.

From your car to your home, there are a few things you should do to make sure you are quipped if disaster should strike.

First, and arguably the most important, a first aid kit.

The Red Crossrecommends you have the following in your first aid kit:

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches) 
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), also found within our Family First Aid Kit 
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch) 
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram) 
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets 
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each) 
  • 1 emergency blanket
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each) 
  • 1 3 in. gauze roll (roller) bandage
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide) 
  • 5 3 in. x 3 in. sterile gauze pads 
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)  
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages 
  • Tweezers
  • Emergency First Aid instructions
  • Include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers or other items your health-care provider may suggest
  • Check the kit regularly
  • Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents

You should also have your pantry stocked. The CDC recommends you have the following:

  • Have a long storage life
  • Require little or no cooking, water, or refrigeration, in case utilities are disrupted
  • Meet the needs of babies or other family members who are on special diets
  • Meet pets’ needs
  • Are not very salty or spicy, as these foods increase the need for drinking water, which may be in short supply
  • Cooking utensils
  • Knives, forks, and spoons
  • Paper plates, cups, and towels
  • A manual can- and bottle-opener
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Propane gas or charcoal grill; camp stove
  • Fuel for cooking, such as charcoal
  • Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. Consider storing more water than this for hot climates, for pregnant women, and for people who are sick
  • Store at least a 3-day supply of water for each person and each pet. Try to store a 2-week supply if possible
  • Observe the expiration date for store-bought water; replace other stored water every 6 months
  • Store a bottle of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to disinfect your water and to use for general cleaning and sanitizing. Try to store bleach in an area where the average temperature stays around 70°F (21°C) Because the amount of active chlorine in bleach decreases over time due to normal decay, consider replacing the bottle each year

There are a few miscellaneous items that the CDC recommends you have around:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radios with extra batteries or a hand crank-powered radio
  • Dust masks and work gloves
  • Plastic garbage bags and ties
  • A whistle
  • Cloth face masks to help filter contaminants in the air
  • Towelettes or baby wipes
  • A wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (such as water or gas)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape for sheltering in place
  • Universal or wind-up cell phone charger
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Games and activities for children
  • Emergency reference materials, such as a first-aid book or a photocopy of such a book or manual
  • Rain gear
  • Paper towels
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A tent
  • A compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Signal flares
  • Paper and pencils
  • A medicine dropper
  • Household chlorine bleach, which you can use as a disinfectant to clean surfaces (mix nine parts water to one part bleach). In an emergency, you also can use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color- safe bleach or bleach with added cleaners
  • Portable phone charger (make sure it's charged)

The CDC also says you should have a go-bag. Should you need to get up and leave, it should have the following inside:

  • A jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • A long-sleeved shirt
  • Sturdy shoes
  • A hat and gloves
  • A sleeping bag or warm blanket

You should also have your car prepared for emergencies, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Ensure that everyone wears a seatbelt
  • Ensure that car seats are installed properly
  • Always carry a first-aid kit, blankets, and other roadside emergency supplies
  • Attach an emergency information card to all child car seats; keep one in your wallet and one in the glove compartment of all of your vehicles
  • Ensure that you have adequate fuel in your vehicle before you have to evacuate

It is also recommended that you have all of your medical information written down.

Program emergency contacts in your phone and have all of your medications in a place that is easy to grab.

If you don't have a weather radio, you can download the free WRTV storm shield app.

It doubles as a weather radio and you can get alerts for your area sent right to your phone.