Camping & Survival

Are You Ready for Spring Storms?

Tornado Funnel

Spring is right around the corner. Most people equate spring with warmer weather, blooming flora, allergies and spending more time outside. However, in the prepper community, spring means tornados, hail, damaging winds and flash floods. There are some specific challenges that arise when preparing for severe weather. Having a kit is a great place to start, but just having supplies on hand is only half the challenge.

Heavy Damage
Heavy Damage

Getting in Touch

In combat, communications are extremely important. A unit that can’t communicate will not be effective, and this is no different when it comes to an emergency. In many cases, your family won’t be together when a disaster hits. Having a communication plan ahead of time is the best way to circumvent the inevitable problems that disasters bring to the table.

Check with your children’s day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include notifications as part of their emergency plans. Complete some type of contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags. Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Also, teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not get through.

Tornado Funnel
Tornado Funnel

If there is no way to communicate, have a designated place to meet. Severe storm and tornadoes can wipe out large amounts of property, and you may find yourself frantically searching for loved ones. A pre-assigned meeting place should be within walking distance of your home. If something more widespread happens, have an out-of-neighborhood designated location as well. A friend or extended family member’s house would be ideal, since community centers and public buildings could be crowded.

Getting Around

Once you have communicated and your family is all together, you may still need to get around town. Make sure you keep your vehicle filled with gas as much as possible. If you are one of those people who runs around town on 1/16th of a tank of gas and sputters in to fill up at the last minute, you may find yourself abandoning your vehicle on the side of the interstate. Huge numbers of people panicking and leaving the same area often cause blockages on major roadways during emergencies, so plan accordingly by staying to the back roads. Make sure to watch out for downed power lines, and get to your bug-in spot as safely as you can. Debris and panic can make the simple act of getting home nearly impossible.

Be Self Sufficient

Be ready to make impromptu repairs to your home as needed. Having basic skills in plumbing, roofing and woodworking could help your life return to normal much faster. Try to learn to fix things that severe storms can knock out. Shattered windows, leaking roofs and falling trees are all major effects of storm damage. Have your own food and water sources. Have medicine set aside and the knowhow to perform basic emergency care. Be prepared to survive without power. Electrical utilities are often the first thing to go during a disaster, but if you have a contingency plan, you won’t have as many problems.

The most important thing to know is that the government will most likely not be of any use; you need to be prepared to help yourself. Don’t stand around and wait for someone to fix your things for you, because you will be waiting for a long time.

How do you prepare for disasters? Tell us in the comment section!

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Comments (4)

  1. We lost power for a total of 20 days last year. During the summer we had the pool to cool off in and bathe. The Holloween storm (4 ft of snow) we had women shower every other day, men every 3rd day. Had plenty of food, heat and supplies. We have a 8K generator with a 500 gal propane tank filled to 80%. We used 150 gal running it about 12 hours daily. The cost was $388.00 to refil it. The only concern we really had was animal food which I usually keep 3-4 week supply on hand.
    For us propane makes sence instead of a gas generator because if there is no electricity how will the gas stations pump gas and take your money? We heard of some folks spending as much as $500 to $700 for a week while still having to stand in line for hours. The Gas stations ran generators for power to the pump but you had to pay with cash. (Better have ALOT of cash on hand IF you can afford it).
    We believe we are prepared as best we can be. I urge everyone to consider the generator type and pet food situation as much as their other food and weapon considerations. I also think a small generator is nothing but an inconvient noise, buy a big generator to power as much of the household as possible.

  2. As alluded to in the article, don’t fill up when you are near empty, fill up when you are down to half or a quarter tank, that way you are at less risk of running out if gas stations lose power or their access to fuel.

  3. We live in the county, so we don’t go to the store two or three times daily. We have a bathroom size pantry stocked full, a side by side fridge in the kitchen, and two out in the garage for overflow. We have an up-right freezer, full on the back porch, and an empty one running in the driveway, next to the back of my wife’s car, for unexpected sales on meat, or a deer or calf.
    Storms almost always move west to east here, so I have 3/4″ plywood that I cover all windows to the west with, for the hail season. I park my two trucks and Suburbanalong the east edge of the barn and my 40′ container, for what protection that offers.we have two generators for our 642′ well, and sewer pumps, and I run them an hour each month under load. We keep all vehicles filled with gas/diesel, and half dozen 5 gal cans of each, rotating it on a regular basis.
    We have two AirStreams, and a 32′ HitchHiker fifth wheel, which serve extra storeage/living quarters for us, or friends. I keep about twenty propane cylinders for heat, light, and cooking, and we have Coleman fuel stored for all the lanterns/catalitic heaters/cooking stoves if neede, and I have more than a dozen large ice chests if needed as well.
    I have large CB antennas over the house and barn, and have mobile, base, and hand held CB service, with deep cycle, and gel-cell batteries, with UPSs, charging gear, and solar panels. We have 2m ham gear,because we monitor what the storm chasers report to the National Weather Service, minutes before they announce it on radio/TV. We also volunteer, working with Police to patrol the near neighborhoods which are in the city limits near us, so as such we have an actual Police radio, which can keep us abreast of storm related traffic hazzards, downed power lines, flooding, and potential crime in the area, resulting from the weather, plus give us direct radio traffic with Police if needed. The city limitshave crept to my front gate, but all along we’ve lived like we’re still a long way from people, which we no longer are. Luckily, being across the road from the city limits, I can still fire my AK or shotguns in the yard at will, so we can defend if needed that way as well.
    Large hail, and winds greater than 60mph are of greatest concern for us, but surviving initial events, long term sustainance is a big consideration. Also, having a large walk-in closet in the center of the house is handy and comforting for us if needed. We also keep many of the hand-cranked lights and radios, and fire-proof boxes with important papers there, which is just off the bathroom, where we keep first-aid, and medications we’ve stored ahead. I’m sure there are things we could do differently, but it’s omething we think about, talk about, andtry to be ready to adapt to. Those three things are key. I’ve got to go cover the windows now, because they’re predicting high winds and large hail here in Boomhower, later tonight. Don’t forget to set clocks ahead tonight.

  4. I was at Walmarts yesterday across from Texas Stadium. Their shell cabinet was almost
    empty. I bought the last three boxes of 380s they said they had some on order that
    should be in in a couple of days.
    Very interesting!

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