Prepare for a Tornado and Create a Mini DIY Emergency Kit

by Merissa on March 7, 2012

in Simple Living

Prepare for a Tornado - Little House Living

I did not actually take the picture above, however this is a tornado that I did see!

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Prepare for a Tornado

It’s seems that tornado season has come early in some parts of the country. I hope it’s not any kind of indicator of what’s to come this year!

Even though we may have tornado warnings…there isn't much you can do to prepare for a tornado completely. When one strikes we just have to deal with it as it comes. There are a few things that you can do to be a bit more prepared. And I think we can all agree that homestead living is all about being prepared for when you need it the most!

Here are a few tips you can do to Prepare for a Tornado:

  1. Get a weather radio. I prefer the crank radios so you can use them even if you don’t have power. You may have heard from me before that you should get weather radio and I still fully stand by that as my number one advice for weather preparedness. You may not be able to access internet, have power for tv, or have cell phone reception, but you can always crank up a weather radio to find out what is going on and where.
  2. Know your families plan. Do you have a certain room that you need to go to? If somehow you get separated do you know where you are going to meet up and are there any ways to communicate with each other?
  3. Create mini emergency kits and place them around the house. Below I will show you what mine look like!

It’s also important to know what to look for to be able to identify tornadic weather in your area. Before a tornado you will see the clouds turn green and purple. You may get hail or it may get very cold (indicting hail is nearby). The clouds may begin to rotate. (And even though that may sound like  clear cut sign, I've found it to be the least accurate. Focus on the cloud color and hail.) The air will get very still and the wind will stop. Also if you have any animals, pay attention to their behavior. Normally before a storm, animals will get very anxious or try to hide or find shelter.

If you are listening to a weather radio, a Tornado Watch means that conditions are right for a tornado to appear. A Tornado Warning means that a funnel cloud has been spotted. You may want to also check out these tips from Ready.gov of specifics to prepare and what to do after a tornado.

Funnel clouds can form quickly so if you see any of these indicators, be ready to take shelter in a basement or a room in the middle of the house with no windows (such as a bathroom).

Another thing you might want to do to prepare for a tornado is create a Mini DIY Emergency Kit. These are just simple kits that you can place in various rooms in your house to have to grab in case of an emergency. If you want to put together a bigger, 72 Hour Kit you can check out my post on that. Here's what I put together in my DIY Emergency Kit:

  • Waterbottles
  • Energy Bars
  • Dried Fruit
  • Pain Reliever
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight + Batteries (Or a Crank Flashlight)
  • Mylar Blanket

 

Label the box Emergency Kit and store in rooms throughout the house. You may also want to store one in a car, or in any other places you might be.

Hopefully you won't have to use these kits but it's good to have them ready just in case!

Something else you need to know, especially if you live in an area that is prone to events like tornadoes is How to Decode Weather Radio Warnings. What good is a weather radio if you don't know what it's saying? Also, you may want to learn some Old Fashioned Ways to Predict the Weather. The weathermen don't always know what's coming!

Get even more tips on Preparedness here!

What do you do to prepare for a tornado? What do you put in your own DIY Emergency Kit?

merissabio

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Haven Danielle Smith March 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

As silly as it sounds here in Oklahoma City they tell you to keep some kind of helmet for everyone in the family in your tornado shelter or closet. They always say here that alot of times people die of head injuries during tornadoes and a helmet might help protect you. They also tell you to make sure you have your shoes on during severe weather and a pair of thick work gloves for all adults so that if you need to move debris to get out of your house you can do so without being hindered by injuries to your hands.

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2 KimH March 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Interesting about the helmets. I think thats a great idea.
I agree that sometimes you dont see the rotation of any clouds and seeing that perfect funnel is often not what you see when you’re under a tornado.
I’ve been thru a couple that were nearby unbeknownst to me, and then we were directly under another one. First it was hot & stock still, then started hailing & the temp probably dropped 50 degrees and then the big ol boat car we were driving started bouncing literally, up & down about 6 times until I screamed at my hubby to drive down into the ditch. When we did, it stopped bouncing and eventually it passed us by.. That was scary! If we’d been driving a little 4 cylinder car, we’d probably have gotten picked up & thrown around.

Something we always instructed our kids to do if we werent home was to drag their mattress into the hallway in the middle of the house and cover themselves with them. And of course, we always had tornado watch parties. ;)

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3 jenny March 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm

we try to remember to grab our shoes before taking shelter

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4 Kate March 8, 2012 at 1:46 am

Dont forget to pack an emergency diaper bag. Put all of this in individual Ziploc. diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, binkies, blankets, extra clothes. A good place to store the gallon of water is in the baby seat. (once a storm comes up.) if you arent keeping the baby in it . Preparing a go kit for kids is smart too.. thinks they eat, things they will drink and things that will keep their attention. Rain, mud and other icky things can get into your packed bags and boxes. Putting things in zip top bags or even double or triple bagged in wal-mart bags is a good option. Remember water and tolet paper are supplies that go fast, no matter how much you think you have you prob dont have enough. And those who have family on meds your dr can write you a 90 day supply to keep on file at pharmacy or to keep with you. A written script when all heck breaks loose. How many fleeing Katrina had their meds or their scripts on them. How many got sick because of it. Sanitation afterwards is needed to (5 gal bucket with a tight fitting lid for disposal of waste tied up in walmart bags. There are temp measures that will save lives
Remember Food, shelter, meds, sanitation, boredom and infant to elder care.
Ps the canned food in your pantry is a survival boon. esp if the veg you have stored back doesnt have salt in them so the water can be consumed. (Keep idodized salt on the shelf.

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5 Kate March 8, 2012 at 1:56 am

Don’t forget a pet survival plan. Food, and water for the pet in your life and a carrier for it. You cant take your pet to most shelters but you can keep your pet in your car or truck if you have its food, litter and litter box (if a cat) and a carrier. (lead and a collar for a dog).

Most animals left behind in disasters perish.

Many times you can just pick up the cage of an exotic pet and put it in the car. Fish not so much but you can buy the fish blocks for leaving a tank for a mth or so.
The more exotic your pet the more you have to plan.

When you leave your pet in your car try to be outside with it as much as possible, when a hotel room comes up or temp housing try for it first (if in a disasters like Katrina) Remember cars turn into ovens.

In case of devastation I have a purse my cat will be going into and she is being trained. If I cant get her trained I will be getting kitty trank to keep on hand from my vet. Don’t forget your pets meds when disasters hit.

Kate

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6 Ruby Stephenson June 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm

You will need to consider the reason you are taking cover, leaving your home. Pets in the car is not a good idea in a tornado. They would be better off in an interor room,(bathroom, closet)

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7 Jennifer March 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I’m pretty sure she was referring to after the natural disaster has hit and finding basic shelter when your home is then inhabitable….

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8 Tami Lewis March 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

i have my bag packed and i get shoes on everyone. my house was hit by a tornado a few yrs ago- took the roof off and bashed in the garage door etc. lost some stuff. praise God we saw it coming and were not in it!!! now we live in tornado alley and i am petrified!! but we are building an earth sheltered house o we will not have to worry!!

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9 Suz March 10, 2012 at 6:45 am

Our emergency kit is in a RED backpack. Easy to take with us! We keep these near our exit to the outdoor shelter.

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10 Prairie Homestead April 4, 2012 at 7:21 am

Living on the prairie in a sod house had it’s advantages when it came to tornados ;}

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11 VickiRae Lopez October 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I don’t have an emergency kit really but I have a van with 3 kids so I’m sure we have enough snacks, wipes, diapers, extra clothes and such to survive. Back in Alaska I did have a duffle bag of supplies just in case because people die when stranded for just a few min.

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12 Melissa Zurn-Decker October 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I have a box in the car that has some emergency food, water and flares. Plus a small first aid kit. Also i try to keep a pack of juice boxes and,snacks in my car at all times.

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13 Stacy October 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm

During severe weather possibilities we always keep shoes, a flashlight, helmet and robe/jacket by our beds. Our cell phones provide local weather alerts and we keep the volume turned up loud enough to wake us up. Although our community has sirens, the sirens are actually to alert those who are outdoors…they are not made to alert people already inside. If the weather is not too hot, I leave windows open so we can hear them.

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14 Angela Denton January 1, 2014 at 5:01 am

I live in the Texas Panhandle and our National Weather Service office offers free storm spotting classes each year. It just takes a couple of hours but it is well worth your time to learn what to look for in the clouds. It sure did make last year storm season a lot less stressful on us.

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