We took a Storm Spotter Class the night before our last severe storms. Go here to see when there will be a class near you. Just click on your state.
Not everyone has one or can afford a storm shelter. My brother has one we can use about 5 minutes away. However, if you can't purchase or build one yet, like us, then here are some basic things to do when severe storms are headed your way...particularly during a tornado warning.
- Get into the most interior room (no windows) on the lowest floor of your home. We don't have an interior bathroom, so we choose one of two interior hallways.
- Gather blankets, mattresses (air matress), pillows, etc to help shield you from any flying debris.
- Helmets!!! (maybe even protective goggles). These can be bicycle helmets. Anything is better than nothing.
- Have shoes on. If something happens, you probably won't be able to find them afterwards.
- Be prepared by keeping an eye on the weather and watching radar if it is supposed to be bad. Most local news channels will stream radar on their website!
- Get into a ditch.
- If there is no ditch, get as low as you can..flat on your stomach on the ground. Protect your head with your hands.
- The idea is to get as low as possible incase of flying debris. Also, don't get near trees. They can be struck by lightning. If anything is taller than you, it can be struck.
- If driving and can't get to a safe place, don't get under an overpass. The winds are much higher under there. Pull over, turn on flashers, and dont get out of the car.
- First Aid Kit- bandages (all sizes), alcohol swabs, pain medicine, etc
- Bottled water- We wash and re-fill our 2ltr bottles. We have taken about a dozen to my broter's storm shelter about 5 minutes away. We also have them stashed throughout the house.
- NOAA Weather Radio- try to get one that can run on power or batteries.
- Batteries- ALL sizes
- Lockbox- For important papers, phones, etc. Ours is fire/water proof. We keep important papers and photos on an external hard drive that we purchased for under $100 at Wal-Mart.
- Instructions to turn off the home utilities.
- Anything else you would want with you.
- We keep all of our items in a large plastic storage bin. My husband can easily grab it and throw it in the car if we have enough warning to get to my brother's shelter.
Video from FEMA:
Lots of great info here on this site.
SkyWarn has a spotter training class (we took it a few weeks ago! Free!)
NWS-National Weather Service
Codes to program your NOAA Weather Radio
My post with link to info on making a 72-hour preparedness kit.