When was the last time you heard the sirens shrieking, telling you run, find shelter, stay safe? Because we see many severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in Wisconsin and Minnesota, probably not that long ago. When you purchased your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, your Baldwin Woodville agent made sure you were covered for damages that might occur to your home.
But what about your body? Your family? Your life?
Most home storm safety happens BEFORE the storm. Make sure you have a detailed safety plan, and everyone in your home knows it, including the babysitter. Perform drills with your family (kids consider this great fun) to make sure everybody knows what to do.
Make an emergency kit containing clean water, a hand-crank radio, non-perishable foods (and a can opener), flashlights, and batteries. Yes, your cell phone has a flashlight. But if the power goes out and your phone dies? Heavy D-cell flashlights will be your best friend. Keep the kit in your family’s emergency shelter location. You might even take an emergency preparedness class. Your Baldwin Woodville agent can guide you to finding one.
When there seems to be “a bit of weather,” listen to the local emergency station. Alternatively, you keep track of potential storms using an app on your smartphone. Either way, pay attention once you hear a “watch” or a “warning.”
Watch: A severe thunderstorm or tornado watch is an indication that the current weather conditions are favorable for one (or both) of these weather events in your area. Stay home, and stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
Warning: A severe weather warning means there is a storm or tornado currently occurring in your area. Go to your safety shelter immediately, and continue with your emergency plan.
Where to shelter? If you have an underground basement, there. If not, choose a location on the first floor with no windows, such as a laundry room or bathroom. If you live in a trailer home, go to the local community shelter you have planned out at the watch stage. Don’t wait for the warning.
It may be tempting to start grabbing irreplaceable things: photos, homemade quilts, handmade Christmas ornaments. While understandable, remember it’s you and your family that are most important. Then your pet. We at Baldwin Woodville can provide you with storm and tornado insurance to replace nearly everything in your home. Even though sentimental things are very important, they’re not worth risking your life.
Be sure to check out our post on safety during thunderstorms or tornadoes in your car.