Steps to take in creating a household emergency plan include:
Oklahomans are reminded that tornadoes can occur any time of year. Knowing the difference between watches and warnings can help save lives.
Electricity, water, heat, air conditioning or telephone service may not work in an emergency. Preparing disaster supply kits in advance can save precious time in the event you must evacuate or go without utilities for an extended period.
Store items for a “go” kit in an easy-to-carry bag and keep in a car or in the garage. The “home” kit can be stored in a plastic tub or garbage can and kept in your home’s safest place where you will take shelter.
Consider including the following items when putting together your disaster supply kit:
Before an emergency strikes, take time to identify your safest place at home, at work and at school. Many people have survived strong tornadoes in a closet or small interior room without windows. Usually the safest place will be on the lowest floor. If you live in a mobile home, identify the nearest sturdy building – it may not be safe to remain in a mobile home during a storm.
At schools, offices and hospitals, preparedness plans are especially important due to the large number of people on hand and the large amount of glass at many sites. Know the safest place for you to shelter in place and make sure others know their assigned location as well. At shopping malls, indoor pools and gymnasiums, long spanning buildings are commonly found. These locations can be dangerous because the entire roof can been supported by the outside walls. If caught in such an open building, the restroom may be the best place to take shelter.
If possible, one of the best ways to prepare for survival in Tornado Alley states like Oklahoma is to build or install a safe room in your home or workplace. Your local emergency manager or homebuilders association will have information about safe rooms. Plan how to get to your safest place, and share the information with your family.
Once severe weather has passed, be prepared for possible flooding to occur. Also, watch for downed power lines and never drive into high water.