Today is National PrepareAThon #PrepareAthon. A cornerstone for this year’s activities is encouraging people to determine their safe place that they will shelter during severe weather whether it is at home, work, school, etc. You need to know where to take shelter before the severe weather strikes. We are encouraging people to share their safe place with others and use #SafePlaceSelfie.
The NWS and NWA have teamed to host a tweet chat between 2 and 4 pm this afternoon to talk about preparedness and showcase selfies. Who knows yours may be shown, so make sure you post your selfie in your safe place prior to 2 pm CT.
— National WeatherAssn (@nwas) April 29, 2016
Taking a selfie picture also is a great excuse to have a family drill and make sure that everyone knows what to do when the weather turns dangerous. Don’t forget include your pets in the drill and your selfie. Also discuss how you will stay weather aware on a potentially active severe weather day (or night.) We recommend having multiple sources to receive weather information including a NOAA Weather Radio which has an notification system that will auto alarm (this is the best way to get warnings, especially when you are asleep so keep one in your bedroom as well as your safe place), an app on your cell phone, an AM/FM radio, your local TV stations. Also ensure that everyone understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that conditions may occur…so stay tuned for more information; a waning means ACT NOW…GO TO SHELTER.
Immediately after your drill is also a good time to double check your safety kit which should be in your safe place and restock for any perished items and update copies of important documents. If you do not already have a kit, some items to consider include food (long life), water, helmets, flashlights (with extra batteries), NOAA weather Radio and battery operated AM/FM radio, battery phone charger, leather gloves, toilet paper, towels, cash, first aid kit, hammer, whistle and/or an air horn, so if you are trapped you can alert people to your location. Also have a change of clothes, tennis shoes and socks, extra medicine, first aid and don’t forget about rations for your pets including a bowl, treats, food, leash, even for cats.
While you are going through your drill, it is also a good time to review your action plan with your family. Discuss alternate meeting locations; so if you are separated during an event or you are not able to return home due to damage and debris in your path, you know where to connect.
For additional ideas on what you can do to prepare for severe weather or any emergency, the Red Cross has some good information.