Have a severe weather safety plan

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The key to severe weather safety is staying ahead of the storm. Having a plan in place well beforehand can save critical minutes when time is of the essence.  

Know where to go. At home, at work, or your school, the standard is pretty much the same. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. If you have a basement, that is the best place. If not, it’s best to go to the lowest level of your home or business, and away from windows and doors.

It’s extremely important to have an emergency bag ready to go in your safe spot.

Indianapolis Fire Department Division Chief Courtney Gordon says to include some tools or equipment, some supplies like water and food. Make sure you have this before the events occur. Might want to have a battery back up as well as radios and plastic bags.

Water is the number one survival tool, but something many people don’t think about. It can be bulky but it’s necessary. If you have a dedicated shelter space in your home, stash a pack of bottled water there. It’s also a good idea to have water in your car as well. Keep at least one bottle of water in your emergency bag.

Granola bars, beef jerky and protein bars are good options. If you decide to stash canned goods in your space, don’t forget a compact can opener if they don’t have pop lids.  

Make sure you have bandages, sterilizing pads and gauze. It’s also not a bad idea to add some Advil, aspirin, Benadryl and Tums.

In severe weather situations, power often goes out, and sometimes cell towers go down or are heavily overwhelmed. For this reason, it is a great idea to pack a whistle or air horn. This gives you the ability to make noise from a hidden spot or a pile of debris if the need arises. This simple tool could save your life.

Division Chief Gordon also says you might want to know how to cut off your power to things like your garage door. Know if your power is out because your garage door isn’t going to work. Make sure you know how to open your door with the power out.

Make copies of all your important family documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses and pack them away in a waterproof envelope inside your kit. 

Also, pack a flashlight with back up batteries. A crank radio is also useful for when the power goes out.

A few other things to think about are boots and work gloves and personal items including toiletries. Don’t forget about your pets!  Be sure to include some extra pet food, and extra ID tags, too.