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Tornado? Rain? Golf ball Sized Hail? Be Prepared!

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The very long, rainy, and extreme Spring that we experienced here in the DFW Metroplex inspired me to share some information about how to prepare for emergencies! For those of you reading from another state, perhaps your weather is more temperate, and stable. Here in Texas our weather can be unpredictable, loud, and down right scary! Here are a few tips about how to not be caught in the storm.

More than 80% of Americans live in counties that have experienced a weather-related disaster. It’s almost impossible to predict when an emergency or natural disaster will occur, creating a plan may help keep your family safe in the event of one.

1. Decide on an emergency meeting place.

Emergency situations are chaotic. In the midst of the confusion, it can be difficult to get in touch with loved ones. Decide on a meeting place with your family ahead of time to reduce some of the initial stress.

  • Choose three locations: one in the neighborhood, one in your town and one out-of-town, and make sure everyone knows how to get there.
  • Your safe area may vary depending on the emergency—for example, in the event of a tornado or hurricane, stay away from windows and take cover in an interior room of your home or building, on the lowest floor

2. Make a plan that outlines all the information you’ll need to know in the event of an emergency.

  • Create a spreadsheet that includes:
    • Names and nicknames of each family member
    • Phone numbers
    • Email addresses
    • Names of doctors
    • Places of work
    • Schools
  • Assign roles.
    • Have someone turn off the utilities, like water and electricity, while another person packs the important documents and another grabs pets. Giving everyone a responsibility will ensure nothing important is left behind.
    • Your Pet’s Emergency Kit
      • 3-7 days worth of food and water.
      • Miscellaneous pet items, such as extra harnesses, collars, leashes, a travel carrier and a blanket.

Visit www.ready.gov/make-a-plan to download an emergency template to help you make a plan that you can tailor to your family’s needs.

Above everything, be safe and make smart decisions if you are alerted that bad weather is on the horizon. Being caught in a storm is not fun. If you do find yourself unable to avoid a storm send a text to a family member to let them know you are safe. Texts are more likely to get through if phone towers are effected.