I have lived in Oklahoma since I was 3 years old and even though tornadoes are our thing, you never really get used to them. Just like my fellow Oklahomans, I have hid in bathtubs, closets, under desks and more recently, in our own tornado shelter. In this state, I truly believe a tornado shelter is one of the best investments you could ever make. You would not believe the peace of mind it brings!
That all being said, it’s March and we have already been greeted by a tornado watch. That means, it’s time for me to vacuum out the shelter and get all the gear ready and I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing too. A few years ago, I came up with a little tornado checklist and I go back over it every single year.
I thought I would share my list with you today in case you’re new to our windy weather or just want a little recap. It never hurts to be prepared!
10 Things You Need to Be Prepared for Tornado Season
- Weather Radio: Do not rely on your cell phone to see you through a storm, it is super easy to lose service. Invest in a weather radio that is battery powered which means, you’ll need some extra batteries too.
- Flashlights and Lanterns: These lanterns are the absolute greatest thing. They are bright and last forever plus, they’re easy to grab during a storm and easy for your kids to hold too.
- Water: Ideally, you’ll want about one gallon of water per person. I grab a case of water and keep it in our tornado shelter.
- Shoes: Do not forget shoes. Keep them near your shelter (bathtub or closet) especially if the weather is questionable. You don’t want to be caught in a real tornado having to walk through fallen trees and splintered wood barefoot.
- First Aid Kit: Skip throwing a few things together and purchase a real first aid kit. You’ll want to be prepared especially if you have kids.
- Cash, Credit Cards & Your ID: Make sure your money and ID is easy to grab in the event of a storm, you’ll need those items if something really hits. Even better, put them in a plastic Ziploc bag so they are not damaged by any water, you can throw your cell phone in there too.
- Medication: Keep a bag nearby and throw all of your medication inside. Similar to the bag with your money and ID, you’ll want this to be easy to grab in the event of a real emergency.
- Batteries & Chargers: Do not forget extra batteries, you can always stash candles and matches too but batteries are a must have for flashlights especially if the electricity is out for quite awhile.
- Pet Supplies: Anything you need for your pets, have an emergency stash ready to go and consider toys, blankets, etc to help keep pets calm.
- Extra Clothing: Just in case you are woken up in the middle of the night by tornado sirens, you’ll want to have some extra clothes. Get together a stash of clothing and keep it in your shelter or nearby so you can grab in a hurry.
Being prepared is a big deal, these things are not what you want to worry about while you’re tracking a storm. Gather as much as you can together now so you are completely ready to go. If you need more information about tornadoes and tornado preparedness, please visit RedCross.org. And, don’t forget to download all your favorite weather apps!