Four steps to a Storm Ready Home

Make your home a Storm Ready Home by following four simple steps.

The other day I saw a sign by the road in Northern Indiana and it said “Storm Ready County.” When I saw that I thought we should all have Storm Ready Homes.

Is your home a Storm Ready Home and what does that really mean? According to the National Weather Service Storm Ready site, Storm Ready helps arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property. Part of those safety skills would be to have a Storm Ready Home, and here is why.

Weather related disasters including winter storms, intense summer heat, tornados, floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, wild fires and other deadly weather lead to approximately 500 deaths per year. You should be prepared to survive on your own for a minimum of three days. The basics of survival are: Fresh water, food, warmth and medication. Michigan State University Extension lists the following steps to help you have a Storm Ready Home.

  1. Water:
    1. One gallon of water per person per day.
    2. Water for your pets. If you provide one gallon of water per pet, you may not need it all but you would then have extra water if needed.
    3. Date your bottles and jugs and replace them every six months.
  2. Food:
    1. Choose food that does not need refrigeration or cooking. Examples are canned meats, canned fruits and juices, peanut butter, bread, pudding and jello cups, crackers, granola bars, dried foods, dried milk; even comfort foods like cookies and hard candy.
    2. Have a manual can opener.
    3. Have an alternative cooking method like a charcoal or gas grill or camp stove. All which must be used outside. You could also use the fireplace if you have one.
    4. Remember your pets and have extra food on hand for them too.
  3. Warmth:
    1. Have sufficient fuel for whatever method of heat you choose to keep at least one room warm. If you choose a kerosene heater then read the directions carefully and provide ventilation. If you have a generator, again follow the directions, and if it is a portable generator it must be outside when running.
    2. Dress in layers.
  4. Medications:
    1. At the minimum always have one week’s supply of your medications available.
    2. If your pet needs medications always have a supply of those, too.

If your home is not a Storm Ready Home it can be. Start today to make it a safe haven for you and your family regardless of the weather.

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