It’s Tornado Season. Are You Prepared?

April showers bring … spring tornadoes? It’s not officially spring without an abundance of rain and thunderstorms here in the Midwest. In addition to lightening, thunder and high winds that often accompany a spring shower, tornadoes are something most of us know about but few of us are prepared for.

Our partners at The Cincinnati Insurance Companies recently shared an article by Laura Hobbs on how to prepare your family for the possibility of a tornado this spring.

In the article, Hobbs says that although you can’t avoid tornadoes, you can devise a plan that will help you and your family recover from the devastating impacts of one.

“While tornadoes can occur throughout the year, spring and early summer are peak months in most of the United States,” wrote Hobbs. “Prepare to respond to a tornado by stocking your emergency kit, updating your family’s emergency communication plan and checking your insurance coverage.”

Hobbs said you should discuss an action plan with family and friends at places such as your home, school, place of worship and other gathering venues and know where to seek shelter at each place.

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tornado preparedness website advises that you go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level,” she wrote. “If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.”

Ready.gov also urges all families to assemble a disaster preparedness kit and to create a family communication plan. Here are the three top things you can do to prepare your family and home for a tornado, according to Hobbs:

Assemble A Disaster Supplies Kit
FEMA recommends you assemble a supply kit that includes three days of food and water for each member of your household. You can assemble one yourself or purchase pre-assembled kits in storage buckets from your local shopping club. Store the items in your designated household safe location for immediate access in an emergency.

Remember to include:
• flashlight and fresh batteries
• emergency radio
• first aid kit
• whistle to signal for help
• wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Ready.gov offers a complete list of items to include in your emergency kit. And when assembling your kit, remember to plan for your household pets.

Create A Family Communication Plan
Because your family may not be together when disaster strikes, FEMA recommends that you create contact cards for adult family members to keep in your wallet or purse. Put copies in each child’s backpack or book bag, too.

Designate an out-of-town friend or relative to act as a contact point. If your family is separated, have family members check in with your contact person using a cell phone or prepaid calling card. Families who text may find that text messages can get through when cell phone or landline calls cannot.

Check Your Insurance Coverage
Finally, check with your local, independent insurance agent BEFORE a disaster strikes. Here at Lang Insurance, for example, we can review your coverage and make sure you don’t have costly gaps in the event of a loss.

You can’t stop a tornado, but having the plan and the supplies you need can make recovery easier. To find out more about this coverage and other types of insurance coverage, contact Lang Insurance at www.langinsurance.com or call 636-229-7000.

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