Every Oklahoman knows that among the green grass, flowers, and warmer weather, the spring storm season has officially begun. In an average year, Oklahoma experiences approximately 55 tornadoes. That being said, it is never too early in the spring to start preparing for storms.
Here are 10 things you can do today to prepare your family and home:
Download weather aware apps.
There are many weather apps available today. Download your favorite local news weather app for alerts. The Tornado by American Red Cross App
is a great tool that shows tornado alerts, maps of Red Cross shelters, step by step instructions, and more.
Create your tornado emergency kit.
Be sure to include the following items in your emergency kit:
- Emergency first aid kit
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- 72 hours’ worth of food & water
- Flash lights
Register your storm shelter.
It is important to register
your shelter with your city. This provides information about your shelter that helps first responders in the case of an emergency. This information is passed along to police, fire, and emergency medical services in the case of severe weather.
Find the safest rooms in your home and practice your emergency plan.
Most Oklahomans’ already know where the safe areas in the home are, for example: interior closets, bathrooms and hallways away from windows and doors. However, it is just as important to practice your emergency plan with the family. Each member of the family needs to know what to do when the sirens start alarming. This is such an easy exercise that you can do to prevent stress and panic and keep everyone safe.
Know where your utility switches are to turn off gas, water and electricity.
If your home has encountered a significant amount of damage from a storm, you should shut off your utilities immediately. Include where to locate these utility switches and how to shut them off in your emergency plan.
Check your home and community for risks of flooding.
Last year, severe flooding took over parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Prepare for heavy rains by checking your local Flood Map. The FEMA Flood Map
service is the official source for flood information and tools.
Create an inventory of your possessions for insurance purposes.
This is one of the more time consuming prep tasks, but will be very useful when making a claim after losses. Brian Harvey with Liberty Mutual Insurance says, “Something is better than nothing, and there are many tools you can use today to make this process much easier. The best ways to document your possessions are with photos and videos. The Liberty Mutual Home Gallery App
allows you to create a home inventory to catalog your belongings by room/or category. Keep things simple by taking wide shots of entire rooms, closets, your attic, garage, pantry etc.
Prepare for and prevent hail and rain damage.
Clearing debris from gutters, especially before heavy rains, can make a huge difference in balancing water runoff. Clean gutters and spouts allow runoff to flow freely away from the house.
Proper pruning of tree limbs will help protect your home and property from damage. Keep limbs trimmed, especially ones that are close to structures, to prevent further damage during a storm. It may be worth hiring a professional to control tree limbs over your roof or power lines.
Repair and maintain your roof for upcoming storms.
Now is the time to assess the current state of your roof. Check for shingles that need to be repaired or replaced. Call Terrell’s Roofing
for a roof assessment or make repairs yourself by using these 5 quick roof repair tips
. Make your roof as strong as it can be now, to prepare for heavy winds and hail during the spring storm season.