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Pre-Disaster Plans


Be Prepared!!


After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for several days.  You should have a plan in place and a disaster supplies kit ready in the event of an emergency. For more information on how to prepare for severe weather and other, Click Here. For help Protecting homes and businesses from disasters that may take a few months to a year, Click Here.

Other tips or factors to consider prior to the arrival of severe weather: (a few days to 2 weeks)
  • Sign up for alerts and tune into the local media
  • What do you do during a tornado or fire?  
  • What is your plan when you and/or loved ones are in school, church, or out of town?
  • Update emergency contact information.
  • Inform someone (out of the damaged area) where you and/or your family will be sheltering.
  • Check Public Storm Shelter Locations to make sure your safe place is available*.
  • Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work, and cars.
  • Get your important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, wills, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.
  • At least seven days’ worth of over-the-counter and prescription medications you take on a regular basis. Label the containers clearly, and include a printed-out list of everything you take and the regimen for each medication, plus a copy of your health insurance card (in case you need medical care while you’re away from your home).
  • Make sure your kit has the most current picture of a child or pet in case of separation.
  • Cut down or trim trees that may have become damaged, died, or could cause damage during a high winds event.
  • If you are not already aware learn how to open your electric garage door without power, should the power go out. Also Reinforcing garage doors with stronger wheel tracks and girts or sheeting rails that help resist wind load.
  • Consider purchasing a small generator, if it is not too late or know where to rent one if you use life-sustaining equipment that requires electrical power.
  • If an area tends to flood install a sump pump, use flood-resistant building materials when remodeling, install one-way backflow valves for pipes that enter your home, install drain plugs in basement floor drains, and increase the height of electric service panels.
  • If cold weather is approaching: take steps to protect your pipes from freezing like a slow leak or an insulated cover, get an inspection on your heating systems, and check your home's insulation along with windows and doors for gaps where cold air may enter.
  • A situation may arise that limits you from accessing an ATM or using a credit card. Cash on hand will allow you to get all the items you need during a crisis. Cash for emergencies should be kept in smaller bills; do not keep bills that are more than 20 dollars. You will not be able to get change; hence with small bills, you will purchase what you want without expecting change.
  • To reduce fire risk clear brush, leaves, debris, and other combustibles from around your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping, and fire-safe construction.
  • Get rid of old electronics or harmful chemicals. For more info click: Electronics and Chemical Recycling
  • Gather and make copies of the following documents: Property insurance papers (home, renter’s, auto, etc.); Health insurance papers (medical/dental provider, life, extended disability, etc.); Financial papers (bank, investment, retirement, etc.); Wills, powers of attorney, and estate papersTake photos or videos of all valuables as documentation for insurance claims.

* Schools are not open to the public during school hours.

Take Action: (a few hours to 2 days)
  • Fill up your automobile gas tank(s). 
  • If told to evacuate:
    • Gather your disaster supplies kit and follow the designated emergency route you have been given.
  • Strong Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Hurricanes:
    • Wind Events
      • Gather loose yard items to prevent them from becoming projectiles (lawn furniture, toys, trampolines, garbage cans, and other loose lawn items)
      • Check generators and chainsaws (oil, gas, tune-up)
      • If oxygen-dependent, have a backup tank in case of a power outage
    • If in a flood zone and before the chance of a flash flood 
      • Gather or secure loose items in the yard to prevent them from washing or floating away (lawn furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other items)
      • Place disaster supplies kit items or important documents in a waterproof container.
  • Winter Storms or long periods of cold weather 
    • Cover outside plants and bring in potted plants.
    • Cover pipes and water spigots.
    • Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets so warmer air can circulate below the sinks.
    • Know the locations of your shut-off valves, in case a pipe bursts.
    • Stay inside and if you go out dress in layers; wear hats, gloves, and warm coats.
    • Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction, and jumper cables.
  • Animals 
    • Secure animals or consider bringing them indoors until the severe weather threat is over. If Cold Weather and bringing in is not an option consider adding more bedding or straw to their dog house or enclosure.
    • Make sure you have enough food for your pet during and after the event.
    • For some tips on animals Click Here to go to our Pets and Animals page.
  • Apartments and Hotels
    • Secure items on patios, balconies, and beside pools for wind events.
    • Verify with management about a safe place on the property to go during the event. Also, let loved ones know about that location.

 Why you should think about planning before a Tornado or Hurricane becomes a threat: