Once again it is that time of year when most of us are under some type of severe weather advisory. A storm cell producing damaging tornadoes whipped through parts of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska last weekend continues to move through the Central Plains into the Great Lakes this week. California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona are under a wild fire risk. From the Great Lakes to Southern Texas, severe spring storms will bring a high chance of flash flooding, high winds and the possibility of tornadoes, while snow continues to fall in parts of the Rocky Mountains. Whether you are facing thunderstorms or live in Winter Storm Zephyr’s path, spring weather is proving itself completely unpredictable. Prepare for the worst of either by stocking up on water, non-perishable foods, emergency lighting and ways to stay warm or cool—depending.
These three steps include my favorite weather-related posts to help you get through this crazy and severe spring weather.
1. Educate Yourself
First things first—know what you are up against. For starters, flash floods—more likely to occur in the spring—are the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. It takes only 18 inches of water to lift and carry a sedan-sized car. May through June is peak tornado season and the United States has already experienced 164 confirmed tornadoes for 2014, killing 36 people. We also cannot forget about hurricane season, beginning in May and running through the end of November. The best way to keep in touch is via a NOAA-approved weather alert radio. If you need more facts and information about what weather to expect this spring, read these blog posts:
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 2: Spring and Summer Weather Events
- Staying Safe and Warm: How to Prepare for an Ice Storm
- Tornado Season is Here!
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer DAY 26: Be Ready! National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 25-31
2. Stock Up on Essentials
Be it severe thunderstorms, a hurricane, flooding or snow and ice—all these severe weather events can cause the loss of utilities and city water supply. The minimum amount of water needed for drinking and basic hygiene is one gallon of water per person per day. The minimum amount of non-perishable food you need to keep equals two cans of food per person, per day. You need to keep at least three days of water and food supplies for each member of your family on hand. You cannot rely on fast food businesses during a disaster either. Many of your local restaurants will be without power, as well. Do not forget emergency lighting and an alternative way to heat food, both essential items to see you through a severe weather event. For more on stocking emergency food and water, read these posts:
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 12: Finding Alternative Sources of Water
- How Much Water and Food Do You Actually Need?
- Quick Prepper Tip: How to Stockpile Canned Goods
- How to Survive a Summer Power Outage
3. Staying Safe
Food, water and glow sticks won’t be much use if you have not fully prepared to protect you and your family from the elements. This includes knowing when, where and if it is safe to evacuate (bug out) and what to do if you only have a few minutes warning. Include a plan in case the kids are in school and you are at work. Establish a point of contact—a close friend or family member—who lives within feasible driving distance, but not in the same city. Have prepared kits (bug-out bags) ready and one area in your house where you store your emergency storm supplies. For more on staying safe during severe winter weather, read these posts:
- Survival Planning 101: Preparing for a Flood
- Winter Isn’t Over: The Top Five Best Winter Weather Prepping Tips
- Can You Out Run a Tornado?
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 5: Create and Stock a Safe Room
For a complete list of preparing for severe spring and summer weather, visit our 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer series of articles and for the quintessential guide to preparing for winter storms, read 30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather.